Every year farmers die or narrowly escape death in grain storage bins, and more cases of deaths/entrapments are being reported at commercial grain elevators.
Grain storage entrapments/deaths don’t get much attention in the media because they don’t happen often (a farmer is more likely to be in an vehicle- or farm equipment-related accident), they aren’t high profile, and there has been little university interest and no funded research into numbers/causes.
Still, says Matt Roberts, every year farmers die or narrowly escape death in grain storage bins, and more cases of deaths/entrapments are being reported at commercial grain elevators.
Roberts, an Indiana farmer who himself had a near-miss in a grain bin, undertook an extensive study of grain storage accidents while in a master’s program at Purdue University, and now does safety presentations around the country.
As a result of the project, he said at a Mississippi State University Extension Service conference on stored grain management at Webb, Miss., “We now have the largest database on grain entrapments, both farm and commercial.”
Last year, there were 34 reported entrapments nationwide; 1987 was the worst year, with 47, followed by 1993, with 42.”
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