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Grain Bin Risk Increasing: Safety Program Provides Crucial Rescue Tools

Des Moines, IA – On Jan. 1, 2024, an individual became engulfed in a grain bin in Indiana. Three days later, two more individuals were trapped in Arkansas. These cases highlight growing numbers of grain entrapment cases across the nation, up nearly 45% since 2021. In both cases, local first responders promptly began their rescue operations, using specialized equipment and training they received through Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety program to successfully rescue all three victims. To help raise awareness of these dangers and prevent tragic accidents in grain structures, Nationwide has opened its 11th annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest in recognition of Grain Bin Safety Week.

Startling Facts: Injuries & Fatalities from grain bins*

  • In 2022, at least 42 grain entrapments were reported, the highest number of entrapments in a decade (a 44.8% increase from 2021). There were 15 fatalities.
  • In four seconds, an adult can sink knee-deep in flowing grain and be rendered unable to free themselves without assistance. In just 20 seconds, an adult can be fully engulfed.
  • Suffocation from engulfment or oxygen-deficient atmospheres is the leading cause of death in grain accidents.
  • More than 300 grain entrapments have been recorded in the past decade. It’s estimated an additional 30% of cases go unreported.

“Grain bins pose very serious dangers to workers as entrapments can escalate quickly and are life threatening if proper safety procedures aren’t followed when working in or around them,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “For over a decade, Nationwide has been a leader in the fight to correct this industry issue, and while we’re incredibly proud of the efforts and the many partners who’ve made them possible, there is more work to be done.”

Grain Bin Safety Week continues to make an impact: February 18-24, 2024

Nationwide initiated its annual Grain Bin Safety campaign in 2014 to raise awareness of the dangers of working in grain bins and promote a zero-entry mentality. Grain Bin Safety Week, which takes place Feb. 18-24, 2024, brings a national spotlight to the issue each year.

A key component of Grain Bin Safety Week is the annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest, which aims to supply fire departments across rural America with the specialized rescue training and equipment needed to respond if an entrapment occurs.

The Nominate Your Fire Department Contest is now open until April 30, 2024. Learn how to nominate your local fire department here.

Since 2014, Nationwide and partners have awarded 332 grain rescue tubes to first responders across 32 states – eclipsing over $1 million in resources provided. At least ten successful rescues have utilized these resources, including the recent rescues in Arkansas and Indiana.

Nationwide collaborates each year with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) to deliver the rescue equipment and provide safety training.

“Time is of the essence when responding to these accidents and rural fire departments are often the only line of defense when an entrapment takes place in their region,” said Dan Neenan, director at NECAS. “It’s critically important to ensure these first responders not only have the specialized rescue equipment, but also the training needed to respond effectively. NECAS is proud to join Nationwide and its partners to make a difference.”

For more information about the program, nomination process or how you can get involved, visit

Grain Bin Safety Week is made possible by the following generous partners:

KC Supply


Nationwide Agribusiness

IN Corn Marketing

Maryland Grain Producers

Horizon Farm Credit

Specialty Risk

Lutz Agency

Sponsor Relations

Delaware Soybean Board

Maryland Soybean Board


ProValue Insurance

Valley View Agri-Systems



Delaware Farm Bureau


Gregerson Salvage

West Side Salvage

Kelly Jones Agency

Eclipse Insurance Agency, LLC

Ohio Farm Bureau

New York Farm Bureau

Maryland Farm Bureau

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau

Assured Partners


Sump Saver

NOHR Wortmann Engineering



About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; and pet, motorcycle and boat insurance.

For more information, visit

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