Purdue University’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program recently released the annual 2020 Summary of U.S. Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries and Fatalities report.
The program reported 64 fatal and nonfatal cases involving agricultural confined spaces, including 35 grain entrapments, seven falls into or from grain storage structures, four asphyxiations and 12 equipment entanglements. The total number of cases represents a 4.5 percent decrease from the number documented in 2019, exceeds the five-year average and the number of reported mining-related fatalities in 2020. The report says, “there is a direct correlation between out-of-condition grain and an increased likelihood of worker exposure to entrapment situations.”
Further, the report reminds farmers to never enter a grain bin with evidence of crusting on the surface or within the grain mass. If the grain is crusted or the floor outlets are plugged, contact a professional grain salvage service that has the equipment and experience to remove out-of-condition grain.