BELOIT, KS – According to OSHA suffocation from engulfment is a leading cause of death in grain bins, and these fatalities are preventable. Farmway Co-op, Inc. joined and participated in a nationwide safety stand-down for grain engulfment prevention March 27-31.

The stand-down’s goal is to raise awareness among employers and employees about hazards, prevention methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals, and expectations.

“The weeklong safety stand-down is a way for us to reach out to the entire team to get everyone involved in improving worker protection, reduce injuries, and prevent fatalities,” said David Edwards, Farmway Safety Director. “It’s also an opportunity to listen to our employees and their ideas.”

During the stand-down, employees were asked to pause their work day for 20 minutes to watch a video about a 2009 Kansas grain engulfment tragedy. Then talking points provided by the Employee Safety Committee were discussed and confined space facts reviewed.

April Schmitt, Farmway bookkeeper, said, “It was a great reminder that family is more important than putting yourself in a dangerous position to get a task done. There is always time to do the job safely.”

Producers and vendors that were onsite during a location’s safety stand-down were also asked to participate.

“Safety is the main focus for the cooperative and the stand-down is part of its ongoing emphasis on ensuring our team acts in a safe manner for every task,” said Karl Serrien, Farmway Energy Operations. Serrien also serves as chairman of the employee safety committee.

“Safety Stand-Down week may be over, but we continue to keep safety as our main focus,” said Serrien.