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Grain elevator employee dies after falling from the roof of a grain bin.

Minnesota Department of Health
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 96MN079, 1997 Mar; :1-4
A 48-year-old grain elevator employee (victim) died of injuries he sustained when he fell from the roof of a steel grain bin. On the day of the incident, the victim and two coworkers worked at various tasks associated with drying and storing recently harvested corn. Four storage structures were connected by horizontal conveyors that allowed grain to enter the structures through their roofs. Grain entered a specific structure when a sliding gate for that structure was open and similar gates for the other structures were closed. The workers determined that one of the storage bins was nearly full. They attempted to use a cable mechanism to open the sliding gate of another bin to begin filling it. After several unsuccessful attempts to open the gate, the victim and a coworker climbed to the top of the storage structures and accessed a guarded walkway along the side of the conveyors. They were not wearing fall protection when they went to the roof to inspect the slide gate that wouldn't open. They discovered that ice had accumulated on the slide mechanism of the gate and prevented it from opening. The victim climbed over the steel protective side rails of the walkway and stood on the sloped steel roof of the bin. While he held onto the metal framework of the walkway and attempted to open the gate, he lost his grip, slid down the bin roof and fell to the ground. While the coworker descended from the roof, other workers placed a call to emergency medical personnel. They arrived shortly after being notified and pronounced the victim dead at the scene. MN FACE investigators concluded that to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. whenever work is performed at an elevation where the potential for a fall exists, fall protection equipment should be used; and 2. employers should design, develop, and implement a comprehensive safety program.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Equipment-operators; Grain-elevator-workers; Grain-elevators; Protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Safety-programs
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-96MN079; 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