CHARLES CITY, Iowa- After two grain bin deaths occurred in the North Iowa area over the last month, dozens of Floyd County students like Alex Havranek of Rockford got a hands on lesson in how to be safe at the annual Floyd County Farms Safety Days.
“It’s very dangerous to be inside of a grain bin,” he said. “It’s kind of like swimming; you swim you drown.”
Havranek lives on a farm and helps out where he can.
“I help with the cattle, milk the cow,” he said.
Which is why he said he knows how dangerous the bins can be. But with hoping to be a farmer himself, he wants to learn how to keep himself safe.
“The grain just sucks you down,” said Zach Ott, a sophomore at Rockford High School. “You have to be the strongest man to pull someone out.”
Ott’s family own nine bins, but even he doesn’t go inside them when they are full.
“It could look like all of the corn is settled, but there could be an air pocket,” he said. “If you step on that you will be sucked right in and you have 20 seconds to get out before you suffocate.”
Ott said even if you follow all of the safety guidelines there is still a chance you could fall in, but he still hopes they can help keep incidents like grain bin accidents to a minimum.
“We’re showing them to hook up to the top of the bin and harness yourself,” Ott said. “You also should know how to tie a bowline knot. That’s very strong and won’t slip.”
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