grain bin 1022715 1280KANKAKEE – To prevent fatalities on the farm during the busy harvest season, Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is joining officials in reminding farmers and farm workers to be cautious when working in and around grain bins.

“When a farmer falls into a grain bin and gets trapped, it can become a life-threatening emergency,” Joyce said. “Farmers are not fast enough to get out of flowing grain so it’s important to set aside time to go over safety measures and prepare farmers for a potential grain bin emergency.”

While essential to Illinois’ harvests, grain handling equipment and storage containers can quickly become deadly. In fact, Illinois reported the most incidents involving agricultural confined spaces, including grain bins, in 2020.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a worker standing on moving grain will be trapped within just five seconds and completely covered in grain in less than half a minute.

OSHA details the three most common scenarios leading to grain entrapment:

  • A worker stands on moving or flowing grain, typically caused by an auger running or grain being moved out of the bin by gravity.
  • A worker stands on or below a grain bridging situation. Bridging happens when damp grain clumps together, creating an empty space beneath the grain as it is unloaded. A worker above or below this bridge of grain is at risk should the bridge collapse.
  • A worker stands next to an accumulated pile of grain on the side of the bin and attempts to dislodge it. It can collapse onto the worker.

While workers should avoid entering grain bins if possible, safety measures can greatly diminish the risk if they must enter. To learn safety tips and find additional information to stay safe during harvest, click here

Category: Press Releases

LibraryKANKAKEE – Two area libraries will receive grants to administer mentorship programs for at-risk youth, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) announced Tuesday.

“After a difficult year for our students, these grants couldn’t have come at a better time,” Joyce said. “Making sure our at-risk youth have the resources and mentors they need to get back on track is important, and Project Next Generation will help with that.” 

The Bradley Public Library District will receive over $7,000 and the Kankakee Public Library will receive $17,000 in Project Next Generation grants. PNG is a mentoring program established by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to help middle and high school students develop technological skills, achieve success through project-based learning, and gain life skills such as effective communication, goal-setting and conflict resolution.

The secretary of state awarded over $530,000 in in PNG grants to libraries statewide. Grants are awarded to libraries that serve culturally diverse, low-income and underserved populations.

Funds were provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. For more information, visit

Category: Press Releases

03.08.2021 Farm 2

KANKAKEE – To highlight farm and ranch safety awareness, Senate Agriculture Chair Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is drawing attention to 2021 National Farm Safety and Health Week.

Joyce is joining the Illinois Departments of Agriculture and Labor from Sept. 19-25 to spread awareness and emphasize this year’s National Farm Safety and Health Week theme: “Farm Safety Yields Real Results.”

“The safety and health of farmers and their farms is so important,” Joyce said. “With this being such a stressful time of year for a farming operation, it’s important that we increase awareness of farming hazards and prepare for emergency situations.” 

Read more: Joyce kicks off National Farm Safety and Health Week

Category: Press Releases

holmes const 051721KANKAKEE – Residents of Kankakee will see significant improvements to local roads as part of a $20 million infrastructure investment, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) announced Wednesday. 

“These projects mark a huge step forward in improving safety, mobility and economic opportunity for years to come,” Joyce said. “In a few short months, our community will reap the benefits of updated roads that will shorten commutes and draw visitors to the area.” 

Three projects in the Kankakee area are currently underway and scheduled to be completed this year, including:

• Resurfacing and bridge repairs on Interstate 57 from mile marker 310 to 302 over Minnie Creek. Daily and overnight lane closures will occur until work wraps up in November.
• Replacement of the bridge deck on Otto Road over Interstate 57. The bridge will be closed until project wraps up in November.
• Overlay improvements on River Road over Interstate 57, which began in April. One lane will be open until the project wraps up this fall.

“The City of Kankakee is thankful for the Rebuild Illinois program that is bringing significant infrastructure improvements and jobs to our community,” said Kankakee Mayor Christopher W. Curtis. “These improvements to the Interstate 57 corridor that serves the City and surrounding Kankakee region will help our ability to attract new industry, as well as laying the groundwork for future improvements of exit #312 and #308 interchanges.”

When construction is underway, motorists should anticipate delays and may wish to seek alternate routes. Joyce encourages drivers to obey posted construction zone speed limits and watch out for workers on construction projects.

Over the next six years, IDOT is planning to improve more than 3,535 miles of highway and 9 million square feet of bridge deck as part of the Rebuild Illinois capital program, which is investing $33.2 billion into all modes of transportation. More information about IDOT projects is available here.

Category: Press Releases

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