Severe Weather Alerts

GRAIN BIN SAFETY: Accidents ‘Preventable’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Get trapped in a grain bin and chances are, you aren't coming out alive.

“As weird as it sounds, for the next ten minutes or so I just okayed it with myself that I was going to die,” said Arick Baker, a grain bin accident survivor.

Baker was lucky.

After five hours, he was pulled from under 900 pounds of corn.

It was the first time Iowa Falls fire fighters had ever seen a successful rescue.

“I know exactly what's going on inside that bin,” said Scott Haugan, President of HOWGAN SCC.

Marshalltown businessman, Scott Haugan says with the right technology accidents like this can be avoided.

“Since the grain never went out of condition, no one ever had to go in there to die,” said Haugan.

Six years ago, Haugan developed a system that automatically controls temperature and moisture inside storage bins to prevent grain from going bad.

That's the main reason farmers get inside their bins in the first place.

“We can see that the temperatures are within what’s allowed to keep the facility safe and the operators from any harm,” Haugan told Channel 13 News.

The technology, called Advanced Grain Management costs about $50,000 dollars per bin at larger facilities like the Mid-Iowa Coop in Toledo.

Haugan says an investment in technology that keeps grain healthier pays for itself.

"They maintain higher moistures which leads to higher volumes and pays for the system,” Haugan says.

The technology is catching on.

So far about 50 storage facilities in four Midwest states have it installed in their grain bins.