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Farmer dies of asphyxiation in grain bin.

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 93WI221, 1994 Apr; :1-3
A 72-year old male farmer (the victim) died after becoming engulfed in shelled corn inside a grain storage bin. The farmer had rented a 15,000 bushel grain bin at a nearby farm to store corn in, and the bin was nearly full at the time of the incident. The farmer had received an order for corn and was in the process of using a grain auger to fill a truck for delivery when the incident occurred. He was working alone, and there were no witnesses to the incident. It is assumed that he entered the bin through a door at the top of the bin by climbing a ladder attached to the outside of the bin. Apparently the victim had walked on the surface of the corn, and became engulfed in the corn. After a few hours, family members noticed his absence and began a search that ended when his body was found in the corn near the bottom of the bin. The body was removed from the storage bin, and the county coroner pronounced the victim dead at the scene. The Wisconsin FACE investigator concluded that, in order to prevent similar occurrences, employers/farmers should: 1. Ensure that life lines and harnesses are present and used at entrance points to confined spaces (e.g. grain storage bins) containing unstable materials. 2. Ensure that a standby person is available when work is being performed in a confined space. 3. Ensure that posted danger signs are adhered to.
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-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Farmers; Confined-spaces; Personal-protection; Protective-equipment; Personal-protective-equipment
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-93WI221; 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