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Silage Safety Dos and Don’ts

The collapse of silage bunkers and piles has resulted in numerous injuries and deaths. Even piles and bunkers that appear well-packed and well-managed are not always safe. To help decrease the chances of an accident occurring on your operation, adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. DO NOT fill bunker silos and drive-over piles higher than unloading equipment can reach safely.
  2. DO NOT dig the bucket into the bottom of the silage as it could create a dangerous overhang.
  3. DO NOT park vehicles or equipment near the feedout face.
  4. DO NOT allow people to approach the feedout face. 
  5. DO take silage samples from a front-end loader bucket after moving it a safe distance away from the feedout face.
  6. DO use proper unloading techniques, such as shaving silage down the feedout face.
  7. DO follow the “buddy rule” by never working in or near a bunker or pile alone.
Source: Ruthie Bolsen and Keith Bolsen, “Silage bunkers and piles: A life and death matter,” Progressive Forage Grower, July 1, 2013: 10-11.
 

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