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Large crop adds to urgency of Grain Bin Safety Week.

Extremely high crop yields, combined with below normal temperatures and a wet harvest, means that farmers, grain elevators and other grain handlers have been dealing with high-moisture corn and soybeans. Experts project these conditions could create the deadliest year for grain engulfment accidents since 2010. In 2010, 59 entrapments were recorded, resulting in 26 deaths--the highest number on record.

"Every year, we see people needlessly injured and tragically killed in grain bin accidents that could have been avoided," says Doug Becker, director of Nationwide Agribusiness Risk Management Services. "In light of this year's sobering projection, it's more important than ever for farm families, rural communities and industry leaders to come together to help prevent these tragic accidents from occurring."

The central theme of Grain Bin Safety Week 2015 (being observed Feb. 22-28) is the critical need for first responders to acquire the specialized rescue training and equipment needed to rescue someone entrapped in grain. The chances of surviving a grain bin engulfment are greatly increased if a rescue tube is available to fire departments nearby. Unfortunately, many fire departments lack the equipment and specialized rescue training needed for a successful rescue.

In conjunction with Grain Bin Safety Week, Nationwide has partnered with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), Grain Systems Inc. (GSI) and KC Supply Co. to award fire departments with grain bin rescue tubes and specialized training to help save lives when farmers and other workers become entrapped in grain bins. Nominations may be submitted from Jan. 1-May 31 2015. For more information, visit: www.grainbinsafetyweek.com.

There will be a different topic or component each of the seven days of Grain Bin Safety Week, with articles written by agribusiness risk-management professionals and other experts.

Along with its partners--Farm Safety for Just Kids and NECAS--Nationwide will host #AgChat on Twitter 7-9 p.m. Central Time on Feb. 24. This moderated, online conversation will look at grain bin safety from different angles. Anyone with a Twitter account can participate. Go to tweetchat.com and enter #agchat to start.

During the week, Nationwide will also host free, live webinars on grain bin safety that are open to everyone. Taught by subject-matter experts and industry professionals, these webinars will provide farmers and commercial grain handlers with valuable insight into grain management, personal protective equipment, bin entry, rescue equipment and more.

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Title Annotation:Newsline: Co-op developments, coast to coast
Publication:Rural Cooperatives
Date:Jan 1, 2015
Words:390
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