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SPOTLIGHT: Time for a Grain Bin Check Up – Don’t forget safety

SPOTLIGHT: Time for a Grain Bin Check Up – Don’t forget safety

MAY 2021

Grain bins have long been the topic of agricultural safety and health. Unfortunately, many tragedies have occurred when working around bins, most notably flowing grain and entrapment. There are additional safety concerns including respiratory, hearing and falls which can and do occur.

As we head into late spring and summer, many farmers are emptying bins and hauling grain. During this time, farmers are checking their bins for storage temps, insect infestation and mold.

Don’t forget safety! Consider some of these checks this spring:

  • If there is potential for combustible gas, vapors or toxic agents, has the oxygen level been tested with a gas monitor?
  • Are there NIOSH approved masks or respirators available?
  • Are hearing protectors available for wearing around noisy equipment?
  • Is a rope and harness available for anyone entering a grain bin?

Before performing any of these spring checks, remember to “Stop Think Act”  in order to keep safety at the top of your mind. The Farm Safety Check on Grain Handling can be a useful tool anytime you are working around grain.


South Dakota State University Extension has additional tips for checking bins this spring considering moisture and storage guidelines. Sara Bauder, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist and Adam Varenhorst offer comprehensive advice in a recent Pest and Crops newsletter.