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Farmworker Dies in Grain Bin Engulfment, Kentucky

Kentucky Case Report: 20KY006
Release Date: June 9, 2020

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, a 44-year-old male farmworker (victim) was unloading corn from a large grain bin using an auger mounted on the bottom when the corn within the bin became lodged. The victim entered the grain bin in an attempt to dislodge the product when the bridged corn collapsed resulting in the employee falling and becoming engulfed.

Key contributing factors identified in this investigation include:

  • Lack of hazard recognition
  • Failure to utilize fall protection
  • No emergency action plan

Kentucky FACE investigator concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should:

  • Employers should implement a job hazard analysis process.
  • Employers should implement an emergency action plan.
  • Employers should require employees to utilize adequate fall protection when entering a grain bin is necessary.
  • Employers should train employees on the known hazards associated with grain bin entry.

Farmworker Dies in Grain Bin Engulfment, Kentucky [PDF 1,324 KB]