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A 35-year-old male died after falling into and suffocating in a corn bin containing approximately 40,000 bushels of corn.

Minnesota Department of Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 92MN001, 1992 Mar; :1-3
A 35-year-old male (victim) died on the farm he managed after falling into and suffocating in a corn bin containing approximately 40,000 bushels of corn. The corn was being unloaded onto semi trailer trucks for transportation to a nearby chicken farm. No standby person was present when the victim entered the bin and the grain auger had not been shut down. Earlier, corn flow from the auger had stopped intermittently, and the victim was apparently attempting to unclog a jam with a garden rake when the incident occurred. There were no witnesses. Approximately six hours after falling into the bin, his body was recovered near the point of corn removal at the bottom of the bin. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to prevent similar occurrences, farm personnel should: 1. enter confined spaces only when a standby person is present and use personal protective equipment such as safety belts or harnesses when feasible; 2. fully shut down operating equipment within confined spaces and use appropriate well-maintained tools for specific procedures; 3. post warning signs at entrances to confined spaces containing stored grains; and 4. retrofit grain storage facilities with mechanical leveling or raking devices, if possible, to minimize the need to enter grain storage bins.
Region-5; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Farmers; Grain-elevator-workers; Grain-elevators; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Confined-spaces; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures; Protective-materials
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-92MN001; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507283
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Minnesota Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division