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Grain storage bin entry is very dangerous and exposes workers to serious suffocation hazards - a leading cause of fatalities on the farm. Suffocation can occur when workers are engulfed (buried or covered) by grain or when bins develop hazardous atmospheres or a lack of oxygen.
Engulfment can occur when a worker does the following:
The grain’s behavior and weight make it extremely difficult for a worker to get out of the grain without assistance. Tragically, incidents in grain bins often result in multiple fatalities because coworkers attempt rescue and fall victim as well. These fatalities are preventable if employers follow work practices and provide training and equipment as required by OSHA’s Inspection of Grain Handling Facilities standard, 29 CFR 1910.272.
Where workers enter storage bins, employers must: