Earlier this month a rural farmer in Mower County near Dexter was rescued from a grain silo and although the unidentified man emerged from the incident relatively unscathed, it highlights the need for safety in one of the most dangerous professions in the world.
According to Mower County Steve Sandvik, the man escaped a more dire outcome after various emergency services responded quickly to the scene, including Mower County Sheriff’s Office deputies, the fire department and Dexter first responders, Grand Meadow Fire and Ambulance, Adams Fire, Austin Fire. , and Mayo One.
“He was seen and released that day in good condition and really the firefighters and first responders did such a good job of getting there so quickly,” Sandvik said.
Although the exact details of what led to the accident remain unknown, it is a reminder to focus on safety while working in agriculture.
Agricultural accidents are a part of life. Every year, those who work in agriculture are at risk of injury or worse when working near power tools and heavy equipment associated with the profession.
According to Marlin Fay, president of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Association, the first thought in anything farm related should be safety.
“Safety should be the first thing on your mind in the morning and the last thing on your mind when you’re done doing something,” Fay said. “Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations. Think about safety in everything we do every day.
According to the National Agricultural Safety Database, the annual death rate from agricultural accidents is estimated to be around 60 to 70 per 100,000 people working in the agricultural industry per year.
According to Sandvik, accidents at Mower vary from year to year. This year, he was aware of two calls in which the sheriff’s office was involved.
“Every two years we have some form of agricultural accident involving tractor or auger type equipment,” he said.
And this is the crux of safety promotion. Every day, farmers and their employees work around heavy agriculture-related equipment. Whether tractors, large trucks or grain silos.
Sandvik and Fay both stressed how important it is to take proper precautions and let others know what you are doing or have multiple people working at the same time, ideally both.
However, accidents do happen and Fay said sometimes it can come down to complacency.
“I mean we see it less times, but it still happens way too often,” he said. “It’s one of those things and a lot of things lead to it. A lot of those things are people thinking, “It’s not gonna happen to me.” They see a problem and think it will be a simple solution. They don’t take the time to ask what the dangers are.
While many injuries and fatalities on the farm can be attributed to working around heavy machinery, Fay added that injuries can also come from livestock.
“One of the things that should be talked about should be cattle,” he said. “They have their own mind.”
Sandvik urges farmers to take the necessary time and not rush their work.
“Take your time,” he said. “Follow all safety precautions. Often rushing results in tragedy. Having other people in the area aware of what you are doing so that help can be called if things go wrong [bad]. Things can happen without warning. »