A tractor rollover occurred in Indiana earlier this year. Fortunately, the victim, an older man, survived. But he lay penned under his steering wheel for more than 13 hours before anyone realized he was missing, found him, and summoned help. Emergency crews came and were able to extricate him in time.
Lisa Chaudion, Indiana FFA Foundation Director and a leader in the Indiana Farm Safety and Health Council, told FFA members and others gathered for the Indiana Ag Safety Forum sponsored in part by the Council at the Beck Ag Center last week that it's important to take a friend along while working.
"Use the buddy system," she pleaded. "If you know you're going to be in a potentially dangerous situation, such as working around grain, be sure to have someone else with you."
Whether or not you follow her advice could make the difference between life and death, notes Bill Field, Purdue University safety specialist. If someone else is there and can flip to turn off an auger or do something else to help, it could prevent a tense situation form getting out of hand.
The only caution, Field says, is that the person who is along with the one who becomes the victim needs to use common sense. If the incident involves flowing grain, anhydrous ammonia or another potentially lethal substance, there may be a point where the victim simply can't be saved. The second person doesn't want to put their life in danger as well.
That often shows up the most in situations involving someone being overcome by the gases inside a livestock confinement facility. Often it happens when someone is preparing to or is pumping out the pit. One person may be overcome, and the second or even third or fourth who try to save them are also overcome. Then a tragedy becomes a tragedy of multiple proportions.