What To Do In Case Of Grain Bin Entrapment

Agricultural Tailgate Safety Training


To know what course of action to take should someone become entrapped in a grain bin.

Trainer's Note:

This session is an extension of the Grain Entrapment module. If helpful, use overhead transparencies of outline. Review the true/false quiz.


Entrapment in a grain bin can be very serious. Knowing the proper course of action can reduce rescue time and increase victim and rescuer safety.

  • Turn off the auger or unloading equipment.
  • Call the emergency rescue team or fire department.
  • Be patient and do not give up. Individuals have survived for two hours completely submerged in grain. Wait for the rescue squad before attempting rescue.
  • Offer assistance to rescuers, but follow the directions of the incident commander.
  • Do Not activate the auger again until the victim is free.
  • Ventilate the bin with an aeration system.
  • Do Not activate the heat source.
  • Avoid putting additional pressure on the victim.
  • Only enter the bin if absolutely necessary, and only with safety lines.
  • If you must enter the bin, use respiratory protection as required (dust filter masks, filter respirators, or a self-contained breathing apparatus).
  • Gather plywood, sheet metal, bottomless large trash cans, or heavy cardboard cylinders for the rescuer to use to keep grain below the victim's chest.
  • If the victim is not completely submerged, construct a retaining wall if the grain slope is above the victim's head.
  • A series of retaining walls may be needed.
  • Support or brace walls to prevent collapse.
  • Remove grain from around the victim.
  • Use a vacuum conveyor or scoop to remove grain from around victim.
  • Put victim in a harness to keep victim from being swallowed by the grain.
  • Be aware of the position of the victim's body.

Review the Following Points
  • Shut off the electrical power to the unloading equipment and lockout to secure against accidental start up.
  • Call the emergency rescue team or fire department.
  • Wait for the rescue squad before attempting to rescue.
  • Gather needed equipment for the rescue squad.
  • Bin entry should be only if absolutely necessary, and safety lines must be worn.
Grain Bin Hazards Quiz

True or False

1. Employees should wait for emergency crews to arrive before attempting rescue.
2. During a grain bin rescue the heat source should be activated instead of ventilating the bin.
3. Call the emergency rescue team immediately.
4. Offer assistance to the rescuers and follow their directions.
5. Shut off the electrical power to the unloading equipment.

Answer Key
1. T, 2. F, 3. T, 4. T, 5. T

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