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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Live Grain Rescue Demo a Highlight of Ohio Safety Congress and Expo

March 17, 2010

Editor's note: For reference, the grain bin safety video produced for the 2009 Farm Science Review can be found at


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Safety and rescue training for one of the most dangerous on-farm activities will be a highlight at the Ohio Safety Congress and Expo, March 30-April 1 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Firefighters, EMTs, paramedics and other rescue personnel will have the opportunity to earn continuing education credits by participating in a live demonstration of grain rescue. The demonstration will take place April 1 from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

Ohio State University Extension's Agricultural Safety and Health Program is partnering with Heritage Cooperative and the Urbana Fire Division to meet the growing demands of rescue personnel looking for educational opportunities and training on grain engulfments.

"BWC (Bureau of Workers' Compensation) has been asking for grain bin rescue demonstrations at the Ohio Safety Congress for nearly 10 years now, and through our new partnerships with organizations in Ohio communities, we are now able to bring that live demonstration to the event," said Aletha Reshan, OSU Extension emergency management planning and education program coordinator.

Reshan said that the need for grain safety and rescue training is evermore important with deaths and injuries occurring from grain engulfment and other grain incidents. Over the past decade, 19 deaths have been recorded in Ohio related to flowing grain involving grain wagons, grain bins, feed mills, grain hoppers and other grain-related equipment.

"That's about two deaths each year, not including the countless injuries that occur," said Dee Jepsen, OSU Extension state safety leader. "That's a lot. It's important for farm families to understand the dangers involved and for rescue personnel to get the training they need."

The Ohio Safety Congress and Expo is a free event, and farm families, farm workers, ag businesses, fire and rescue personnel, and other interested individuals are invited to view the live demonstration.

The demonstration will focus on five topics: awareness of grain bin dangers, actions to take prior to the arrival of first responders, extrication techniques using a coffer dam, types of grain bin injuries, and treatment of grain bin injuries. To demonstrate the objectives, a grain trailer filled with corn will be used, along with the "Top Gun" ladder truck from the City of Columbus Division of Fire Engine House No. 1. Andy Bauer of Heritage Cooperative and Captain David Torsell of the City of Urbana Fire Division will conduct the live demonstration.

The grain rescue live demonstration is similar to what organizers conducted during last year's Ohio State University Farm Science Review at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio. Viewers were treated to live grain bin extrication techniques and learned the importance of following grain safety.

"The demonstration at Ohio Safety Congress is a bit different in that we'll be using a semi-trailer rather than a grain bin," said Reshan. "But the message remains the same. Grain injuries can occur not just in a grain bin, but also while working on other areas of the farm. Yes, it's grain bin safety, but grain safety extends beyond the bin. Even in trucks, things can go wrong."

Other partners involved in the live demonstration include City of London Fire Division and the Pleasant Valley Joint Fire District.

In addition to the live grain rescue demonstration, other agricultural safety education sessions presented by OSU Extension will also be offered on April 1. The sessions include:

• "Fall should be a season, not an event," from 9:15 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. -- No matter the work activity or the time of year, falls from heights represent a significant source of injuries and deaths. Learn about the enforceable fall protection standards concerning working from heights.

• "Coping with stress," from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. -- Stress often occurs at low but measurable chronic levels within the business. Stress can peak during crisis situations that have an impact on individuals, families and business operations. The signs of stress, including the physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms will be presented. Attendees will be able to identify signs of stress; describe the impact on mental health of farm families; find information on available mental health resources for agricultural businesses; and list strategies to reduce stress. Presenters include Dee Jepsen; Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Defiance County; and Chris Bruynis, OSU Extension Wyandot County.

Overall, 150 educational sessions will be offered during the Ohio Safety Congress and Expo. For more information, log on to


Candace Pollock
Aletha Reshan, Dee Jepsen