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Brice Elnicki
Brice Elnicki is vice president of KAMO GRAIN INC at 3708 North Free King Hwy in Pittsburg, KS. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, specializing in grain merchandising, he also serves on the KGFA legislative committee. Kamo Grain started as a small, family owned, country elevator in 1990, has now grown to serve producers and elevators all over the four state area with their grain marketing needs. For more information or to reach Brice call 620-232-5800.
2012-10-03 09:43:35
Farm auger safety
A- Before I begin, I would like to state that the reason for this discussion of common dangers stems from my genuine concern for the great people who have carved out a life for themselves and their family in the agricultural business. In no way do I mean to bring negative or unwanted attention to agriculture. Grain augers can be the most dangerous and greatest risk on the farm. When a grain auger accident occurs; loss of limbs or death can happen. The most common hazard is getting caught in the auger screw itself. This can be easily prevented with proper guarding over the auger. When cleaning out a bin, and the bin sweep or under bin auger is running, no one should be allowed in the bin. It is a policy that will only add about 30 minutes to the cleaning process. In exchange for the extra half-hour, the risk of an in-bin auger accident is virtually eliminated. Another major risk on portable augers, as well as other farm implements, is the power take off (PTO) shaft. In a perfect world there is a plastic guard that encompasses the PTO shaft. The guard does not spin as the PTO shaft does. However as wear and tear occurs, this guard will either be removed or will begin to malfunction. This can be another big hazard. It is very easy for loose clothing to get caught by the shaft, and the person pulled into the shaft and hurt. These PTO guards can be bought at virtually any farm equipment store. The guards are not cost prohibitive and can easily save someone’s life. As winter feeding begins and farm grain, PTO shafts and augers will be used continuously. It is up to the operator to remember and be aware of these common risks and hazards and ensure all equipment, whether brand new or used is in good working order. Overhead power lines are often an overlooked hazard when operating and moving grain augers and conveyors. Before moving an auger, always be sure to lower the auger as much as possible. Pay very close attention to the overhead lines. Remember, you don’t actually have to make contact with the lines for an arc to occur. A safety tip would be to have the lines marked and protected so that this hazard can be avoided. For many of you, these tips are common sense. However, often when we are in a hurry, we tend to take short cuts. Accidents can and do happen even to those farmers who have been around this equipment for their entire lives. I urge you to discuss these common hazards with your family and hired help. Discussing safety issues and concerns is well worth the extra time and can be the difference between life and death. We look forward to many years of safe farming practices for our current and future customers.
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