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Farm worker dies after fall from silo chute ladder.

Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services
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 93WI240, 1994 Aug; :1-3
A 29 year-old male farm worker (the victim) died after falling from a silo ladder. The ladder is mounted on the exterior wall of the concrete silo and is enclosed by a metal chute, which starts approximately 6 feet from ground level. A silo room encloses the bottom end of the chute and connects the silo to the barn. The ladder rungs are made of smooth metal, and are mounted on the hatch doors that provide access to the interior of the silo. On the day of the incident, the silo wall surface inside the chute was covered with a thick layer of shelled corn pieces and the rungs were covered with moist cracked corn. The victim was wearing smooth-soled boots. He climbed approximately 33 feet on the ladder and opened a hatch door to shovel out cracked corn for animal feed. The farm owner (the farmer) found the victim slumped at the base of the chute with his head tucked to his chest. The victim was non-responsive, so the farmer pulled him out from under the ladder and called to two workers in the farm yard. The farmer started CPR while another farm worker called 911. Police and EMS arrived and continued resuscitation procedures. The coroner arrived, and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene and transported to the funeral home. The coroner examined the body at the funeral home and drew blood samples for analysis of alcohol and drugs. The Wisconsin FACE investigator concluded that, in order to prevent similar occurrences, farmers should: 1. Ensure that farm workers wear slip-resistant footwear when working on slippery surfaces. 2. Establish and implement a routine maintenance program to keep silo chutes and ladders clean and dry. 3. Install and maintain silo ladder equipment that conforms to current OSHA regulations for fixed ladders.
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; Ladders; Farmers; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Foot-protection; Footwear
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-93WI240; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507081
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division