Farming remains one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rice growers in Southwest Louisiana received a stark reminder of that fact this past September when 45-year-old Wayne Richard of Acadia Parish died after falling into a rice bin.
In the hopes of preventing another death, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation partnered with the Mississippi Farm Bureau to host a series of grain bin safety and rescue workshops February 26-28.
“I never want to see another headline about a farmer getting killed in a grain bin,” said La. Farm Bureau Safety Director Wendell Miley, “It’s easy to feel comfortable in a grain bin, since we work in and around them so much, but they’re confined spaces with many hazards.”
The nightly workshops are designed for both farmers and first responders. The classroom portion will cover what farmers and workers should do when working in a grain bin, whether its having a buddy with them or making sure the auger is turned off. The demonstration portion is geared to teach first responders how to get someone out who is trapped in grain using a special rescue tube and how to properly cut the side of a grain bin to release the grain.
“That hands on experience is what really makes the difference,” Miley said, “We have a volunteer get into a grain bin simulator. There’s no auger and the person is strapped into a harness, so it’s very controlled and safe. That person is then put waist deep into grain and the firefighters and emergency medical technicians learn how to safely get that victim out.”
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The first workshop is scheduled for Monday, February 26 at the Jennings Airport, 900 Airport Rd., Jennings, La. Volunteers are providing dinner at 5:30 p.m. and the workshop starts at 6 p.m. Call the Jeff Davis Farm Bureau at 337-824-1726 to register.
The second workshop will be held Tuesday, February 27 in Vermilion Parish at Allen and Eric McLain’s farm, 114624 Hwy. 694, Abbeville, La. Again, dinner is at 5:30 p.m. and the workshop starts at 6 p.m. Call the Vermilion Parish Farm Bureau at 337-893-2155 to register.
The final grain bin safety workshop is set for Wednesday, February 28 at Charles and Denise Cannatella’s farm, 13803 Hwy. 105, Melville, La. Call the St. Landry Parish Farm Bureau at 337-948-8259 to register.
Space is limited at each event, so organizers suggest you register early.
- To register for the Jeff Davis workshop
- To register for the Vermilion workshop
- To register for the St. Landry workshop