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Assistant grain elevator supervisor dies after being engulfed in shelled corn - North Carolina, September 11, 1994.

Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 94-16, 1994 Oct; :1-7
An assistant grain elevator supervisor died after being engulfed in shelled corn inside a grain elevator. The employer was a grain handling facility that had been in operation for 40 years and employed eight full time workers. The 61 year old victim was employed at a grain handling facility that had 17 grain elevators of various sizes. The elevator involved in the incident was 60 feet high, 18 feet in diameter, and had a capacity of 10,000 bushels. The floor was sloped at a 60 degree angle to allow corn to be fed by gravity toward the auger at the base. On the day of the accident the elevator was almost empty when the victim and a coworker entered the elevator while the auger was still running to knock corn from the sides and to shovel corn remaining on the floor toward the auger. Neither worker was wearing a harness or lifeline. As the victim walked around inside the tank holding onto a rope, the sliding corn knocked him off his feet and he was buried in the corn flowing to the auger. He was removed from the elevator about 45 minutes after the incident and pronounced dead on arrival at the local hospital. The cause of death was asphyxiation. It was recommended that all employers develop and implement a comprehensive safety program, that employers should equip confined spaces containing unstable material with life lines and harnesses at their entrance point and that workers be trained in their usage, and that employers not allow workers to stand on or work from loose materials.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-94-16; Region-4; Accident-analysis; Safety-research; Confined-spaces; Grain-elevator-workers; Grain-elevators
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division