Nationwide was founded by farmers, so we’ve always paid special attention to the needs of the agriculture community.

It’s part of what has made us the No. 1 farm insurer in the U.S. and a leading commercial agribusiness insurer.

That attention includes helping farmers and those who work in agribusiness stay safe. Each year, with the help of other sponsors, Nationwide provides grain bin rescue tubes and training to fire departments serving large rural farming communities. Since 2014, we’ve reached 48 fire departments in 18 states through our annual Grain Bin Safety Week — Nominate Your Fire Department contest.

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“The program that’s out there for these tubes and training is such a life-saving resource in our county,” Glenville (Minn.) Fire Chief Matt Webb said.

Webb’s fire department saved a local farmer in August, two years after the department was awarded the rescue equipment and training through Nationwide. It was the second life saved by participating departments to date.

“It only takes seconds to become entrapped in grain and less than a minute to become completely engulfed,” said Brad Liggett, president of agribusiness for Nationwide. “Until we can convince all farmers and other grain handlers to develop a zero-entry mentality, we will strive to make tubes and rescue training as widely available as possible.”

In another effort to increase safety, Nationwide also introduced Hazard SpotterSM — a first-of-its-kind training app for both iPhone and Android devices. It’s a realistic, first-person view of an employee who must complete maintenance tasks in a grain storage facility.

“I grew up with Atari and Nintendo,” said Ryan Janssen, a 40-year-old Gen Xer who helped test the app and works as the environmental health and safety director at Key Cooperative in Iowa. “That’s what got me excited about this initially. It teaches our employees the skills we want them to have in a format they are familiar with — and it has the potential to bridge the gap between older and younger generations.”

More about Hazard Spotter

Available to all Nationwide agribusiness customers, this virtual reality app for grain handlers turns smartphones into state-of-the-art training devices.

[1] A.M. Best, 2016 DWP