In this newsletter, we'll cover topics such as grain safety, business income and extra expenses in the in the middle of a catastrophe, and exposure risks facing agricultural employees.

Grain Safety: Be Prepared for an Emergency

Author: Gallagher National Risk Control

Farmers and farm workers are 800 percent more likely to die on the job than any other industry according to Farm Injury Resource. With that in mind, grain bins are a huge hazard in the agricultural industry. That is why grain bin safety should be front of mind and being prepared for this kind of emergency should be top priority. It is better to be prepared then to be caught by surprise when an accident is happening.

Here are some steps to take in order to prepare you for an emergency in a grain bin accident.

Invite Local Rescue Team to Location

If you are a grain coop or have a large farm operation, it is imperative that you invite your local rescue team out to view the location and look at the bin setup. This tour will help the rescue team understand what type of bins they are working with and how they can best access them. Inviting your local rescue team out for a quick lunch is a great way to get them to come out to your location and take a quick tour.

Let Rescue Teams Practice at Your Location

Practicing grain rescue to be prepared for an emergency is a great way to ensure that the rescue process goes well. Many rescue teams like to practice at least once a year and often they need a location to do it with. Allowing them on your grain site is a great way to give them the opportunity to practice. Furthermore, it gives you the opportunity to learn how the rescue process works and allowing for you to be better prepared for an emergency.

Ensure Rescue Teams have Access to Proper Equipment

Often times local rescue teams are voluntary and don't have the resources to provide their own rescue equipment. If you have the resources available, donating to your local rescue team a grain rescue tube or other lifesaving equipment can be essential in making sure your employees get home safe. There are many grants available including a Nationwide program that can help pay for rescue tubes for your local rescue department. Or, ask your local rescue team what resources they need to keep your employees safe on the job.

It takes three seconds to react in a grain bin emergency. In just five seconds, you can become completely trapped in flowing grain and in 22 seconds, you can be completely covered. In rural areas, it can take a rescue team close to 20 or 30 minutes to respond and if they don't have the proper equipment or training, the emergency can turn from a rescue to a recovery. That's why it is crucial that you take the necessary steps to be prepared for an emergency. Take time now to practice so that when timing is everything, you can be prepared.

Gallagher is a proud sponsor of Nationwide's Grain Bin Safety Week which will take place on February 21-27, 2021. Partnership with this program helps to make grain rescue tubes and grain rescue training available to emergency personnel. For additional details on how you can help, click here.

Business Income & Extra Expense in the Face of a Derecho

Author: Drew Ahrold

On August 10th, 2020 a storm of amazing strength struck the Midwest costing in excess of $7,500,000,000 in damage. Over 14 hours it traveled over 770 miles from South Dakota into Ohio hitting Iowa the hardest with wind speeds toping 140 MPH in some areas. It has been described as a category 4 land based hurricane. Storms of this nature are called Derechos, a term coined by University of Iowa Physics Professor Dr. Gustavus Hinrichs in 1888.

The impact on many agribusiness operations was severe, some lost over 60 grain bins in the matter of 90 minutes. It is important to note that generally grain bins in the Midwest are engineered to withstand wind gusts of 105 MPH for three seconds.

Typically when we discuss business interruption and extra expense, we consider what would occur to our operation if one, two or even three facilities were impacted by a covered cause of loss. Due to this event we need to change our mindset when we look not only our limits but our true exposure. Consider if your operation was impacted by such an event, how much money would you lose directly and how much extra expense would you incur due to such a loss?

While the insurance market is hardening and prices on are the rise I'd like the quote my Grandfather in this case, "You never spend a lot to cover a little and you don't save a little to expose a lot".

This is a reason to utilize Gallagher Forecast to look at historical trends in the area that your operation has locations – our proprietary product can look at historical weather patterns going back over 60 years. To learn how you can plan, monitor and respond to natural catastrophe events using data and analytics year-round watch Gallagher's 8 minute video on Gallagher Forecast here.

Your external risk management team is here to assist in discussing such possibilities as well as limits that would be adequate in the case of such a loss. Contact us today.

Are Agricultural Employees Unknowingly Exposing their Families to Dangers?

Author: Scott Bills

Taking the necessary precautions to protect agricultural employees from hazardous substances in the workplace should not end when a work shift ends. Many employees may unknowingly bring hazardous substances home from work on their clothes, bodies, or tools, exposing their families to dangerous chemicals. Such incidents have resulted in a wide range of health effects among workers' families, including respiratory problems, neurologic disorders, and fatal poisonings.

What are the exposure routes?

Hazardous substances have reached workers' homes and families through:

  • Work clothing. Incidents involving beryllium, lead, pesticides, and other chemicals are common. In some instances, washing machines and dryers have contained dangerous levels of the materials, poisoning family members laundering work clothes and contaminating other laundry.
  • Tools and equipment. There have been cases involving mercury, pesticides, PCBs, and radioactive material. These substances, brought home on hand tools and other equipment, have contaminated homes and vehicles.
  • Worker's body. Workers have passed dangerous materials to their family members by their hands.
  • Work items. Bringing items home from work, such as bags, rags, metal drums, and scrap lumber have caused serious poisonings of family members.

What prevention measures can be taken?

For workers whose jobs are away from home, the following prevention safety tips may be useful:

  • Use good safety practices to reduce exposure;
  • Leave soiled clothes at work;
  • Change clothes before leaving work;
  • Store non-work clothes away from work clothes;
  • Shower before leaving work;
  • Do not take tools, scrap, packaging, and similar items home;
  • Educate workers with Right To Know Hazard Communication standards;
  • Launder work clothes separately; and
  • Prevent family members from visiting the work area.

For workers whose jobs are in their homes:

  • Keep work areas and living areas separate; 
  • Keep family members out of the work area;
  • Store hazardous substances properly;
  • Dispose of dangerous materials properly;
  • Wash work clothes separately; and
  • Educate workers with Right To Know Hazard Communication standards and inform household members of the hazards of dangerous materials.

Featured On Demand Webinar

Fire Hazards and Prevention

Register now

Fires in agricultural operations are often catastrophic, resulting in loss of essential structures, expensive equipment, feed and forage, livestock and most importantly human life. Even relatively small fires can result in costly business interruption.

In this webcast, webinar participants will gain an understanding of the primary causes of fire and the preventative measures that can be taken to prevent them.

Gallagher sponsors Virtual World Ag Expo Breakfast

Gallagher is a proud sponsor of the Virtual World Ag Expo Breakfast which will take place on Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 7:00am PT. Click here to register or find out more!

Author Information:


Gallagher provides insurance, risk management and consultation services for our clients in response to both known and unknown risk exposures. When providing analysis and recommendations regarding potential insurance coverage, potential claims and/ or operational strategy in response to national emergencies (including health crises), we do so from an insurance/risk management perspective, and offer broad information about risk mitigation, loss control strategy and potential claim exposures. We have prepared this commentary and other news alerts for general informational purposes only and the material is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, legal or client-specific risk management advice. General insurance descriptions contained herein do not include complete insurance policy definitions, terms and/or conditions, and should not be relied on for coverage interpretation.

Gallagher publications may contain links to non-Gallagher websites that are created and controlled by other organizations. We claim no responsibility for the content of any linked website, or any link contained therein. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by Gallagher, as we have no responsibility for information referenced in material owned and controlled by other parties. Gallagher strongly encourages you to review any separate terms of use and privacy policies governing use of these third party websites and resources.

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