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Farmer falls to his death from grain bin ladder.

Iowa Department of Public 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 02IA051, 2002 Dec; :1-5
In the summer of 2002, a 52- year-old Iowa farmer died after falling off a grain bin ladder at his farm. The bin was part of a grain handling facility used to store, mix, and grind feed for the farm's hog operation. The bin was built in 1986, and other bins were grouped around it over the next 2-3 years. The original ladder to this bin was attached on the north side, with a concrete pad below on the ground. A smaller bin was built immediately next to this bin, leaving less than adequate clearance for the ladder, which made it somewhat difficult to climb the ladder in a normal fashion. When using this ladder, one would need to lean slightly to the right. While grinding feed with his son, the farmer was climbing down the ladder after checking the grain bin. He fell approximately 10-12 feet (3-3.6 m) and hit his head on the concrete slab. He was able to get up, and went to lie down on the lawn and his son called 911, against his father's wishes. The man was taken to a local hospital, then, transferred to a regional hospital by helicopter. He lost consciousness and rapidly deteriorated and died the next day from his head injuries. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. Tall grain bin ladders should be constructed according to standards for fixed ladders. 2. Grain bin ladders should be free of obstructions. 3. Fall-arrest systems should be developed for grain bins, and they should be an integral part of the grain bin design.
Region-7; 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; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Ladders; Farmers; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture
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-02IA051; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-708674
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Iowa Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division