Home » Business & Industrial » Agriculture & Forestry » Why Are Grain Bins Dangerous?

Why Are Grain Bins Dangerous?

Grain bins are generally used for the storage of dry corn and soy beans which are often used for feed, food, or fuel. These storage spaces are quite different from Silos. The latter is used to store harvested green and wet fodder. But did you know that grain bins are actually dangerous?

There are about 20 farmers that die each year from grain entrapment. This happens when a person gets partially or fully submerged in grain and cannot get out without assistance. There are 67 people were entrapped in grain in 2019, 39 of them died.

Why Do Grain Bin Accidents Happen?

The main cause of grain bin accidents are due to the poor crop quality farmers harvest. Due to bad weather conditions, the crops stored tend to clump up and need to be manually move the grain to prevent them from clogging the flow.

Jeff Adkisson, a farmer and vice president of the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois explains how the quality of the grain affects the safety of the farmers.

Grain quality is directly linked to safety, when a particular crop is not storing well, and it didn’t dry down very well and there’s a lot of broken material in the bins. As a result, we have seen an uptick in situations where people have become engulfed and trapped or have died in grain bins.

Jeff Adkisson

(Source: Daily Yonder)

Did the Number of Grain Bin Deaths Increase Lately?

According to data collected by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there has been an increase in the number of grain deaths in the past few years. By February of 2019, the Chicago office of OSHA released an urgent warning for farmers to take extra precaution to reduce accidents.

Grain bin deaths spike as farmers rush late harvest. Similar weather conditions in 2009 resulted in the industry’s highest number of injuries and fatalities.


(Source: Daily Yonder)

How Can Farmers Avoid Grain Accidents?

It all boils down to regulations. The decrease of these accidents from occurring can be achieved by awareness, and regulating the bin’s size.

The Federal safety rule has also cited several subsections on the matter. Some regulations include; the use of a body harness for anyone who enters the bin, the presence of an observer, and an emergency exit plan. (Source: Daily Yonder)

What Happens to Farms Who Don’t Follow the Regulations?

Due to the spike in the number of incidents, safety has become a priority. To the point that hefty fines were served to companies were deaths have occurred.

One Colorado farm was fined $1.6 million back in 2009 after the death of a 17-year-old who was cleaning the grain bin. The most recent incident happened in Nebraska, where the company was fined $230,000 for the death of a worker in September 2019.

It’s kind of interesting that you have a farmer with a million bushels in storage and he has no safety rules to comply with. ou cross the street and you have a facility owned by Cargill and they have a million bushels in storage and they have a whole pile of rules to comply with.

Bill Field

(Source: Daily Yonder)

Leave a Comment