Purdue Researchers See Increase in Grain Bin Accidents

May 5, 2015 11:11 AM
grain bins

Take extra care around the grain bin, especially if you have younger workers on your farm. The number of grain-related entrapments rose last year, according to data recently released by Purdue University researchers.

Led by Purdue professor Bill Field, the group noted 70 cases of “agricultural confined-space” injuries and deaths in 2014, a 4% uptick from the previous year. They only looked at documented cases, which experts suggest are just 70% of such incidents.

Watch AgDay's segment on the data here:


The majority of the cases (38, or 54%) were grain entrapments, which were up 15% compared to 2013.

Such situations also appear to be more common on farms that are exempt from OSHA grain handling rules; 82% of those 38 entrapments happened on exempt farms, according to the Purdue researchers.

And a handful involved children. While the person’s age was unknown in 12 of the 38 cases, there were four cases affecting kids under age 20; one child was just 8.

Farm safety for young workers and farm kids can be challenging, but critically important. In the case of grain entrapment, young people between the ages of 11 and 20 years old have a higher fatality rate (80%) than other victims.

How do you keep your workers, kids, and yourself safe around grain bins? What's the best advice you've ever received on this topic? Let us know on the AgWeb discussion boards.

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