Monday evening 52-year-old Robert Pokorny of Clearwater, Neb., died as a result of injuries suffered during a grain bin accident. His funeral was today at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Clearwater.
Pokorny raised cattle, ran a custom calving operation and worked at Thiele Dairy when time permitted. He is remembered as a family-man who loved sports and horses and always greeted friends and family with a warm smile and a story.
He is survived by his wife, Jayne, children Sydney, Taylor, Alexis and Austin, as well as sister, brother, in-laws and nieces and nephews.
Authorities told Clearwater Record-Ewing News the victim had been using an auger in the grain bin at the time of the accident.
Take steps to reduce your risk of a similar tragedy.
The University of Illinois Extension outlines practical grain bin safety tips every farmer can follow:
- Break up crusted grain with a long pole from outside the bin and be mindful of electric lines.
- Wear a harness attached to a secured rope if you do enter a bin.
- Have at least one other person outside the bin in case you become entrapped. Make sure they’re trained on rescue procedures and know the safety procedures and rules for entering the bin.
- Install ladders inside grain bins for an emergency exit whenever possible and paint bright stripes so it can easily be located in a dusty bin.
- Stay near the outer wall of the bin and keep walking to get to the ladder or safety rope as quickly as possible if grain starts moving and you’re inside.
- Anyone working in a grain bin needs to wear a dust filter or respirator.
- Stay out of grain bins, wagons and trucks when unloading equipment is running.
- If you do enter the bin, make sure all augers and fans are off and locked so they are not accidentally turned on while in the bin.
- Keep children far from bins, wagons or trucks.