Grain bin safety training is alive and well in Indiana. A huge number of volunteer firefighters and first responders were trained in how to react to such an emergency over the last three years, in Indiana and surrounding states, all through the Purdue University Extension safety staff. That training continues upon request.
Meanwhile, Bill Field and company are focusing on educating young people who might be working or who possibly will work around grain and grain bins either now or in the future. Through a grant from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, within the U.S. Department of Labor, the Purdue safety team developed training courses for young people.
"The goal is to educate them about the most common risks in the workplace when grain bins are involved, and to help them understand what they need to do to work safely," Field says. Many presentations have already been made, and Field expects to do many more sessions on workplace bin safety through the grant.
The target audience is ag education students and youth in 4-H programs. The actual target age is individuals between 16 and 20 years old.
Mike Manning, former Jasper County Extension ag educator, now retired, is in charge of scheduling programs, and is primary presenter for the training. He has many years of experience working with and educating farmers on various topics, including topics to working safely around hazards found in ag environments, including grain centers.
The session can be taught in one, three-hour block if desired, or it can be broken into three sessions of one-hour each if that works better for students, Field says.
Part of the reason Field visited the ag teacher's conference at the Indiana FFA Center near Trafalgar recently was to acquaint teachers with this program, and encourage them to consider offering it in their community. Part of the process is also teaching others with the ability to teach, so they can teach students within the target range, Field says.