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Farmer engulfed then asphyxiated by corn in grain bin.

Iowa Department of Public 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 09IA012, 2011 Jun; :1-6
During March 2009, a 70-year-old farmer died in a grain bin on his 600 acre (242 hectare) farm in southeast Iowa. The victim and two other men began unloading shelled corn through the side door of a corrugated steel bin. They used a grain vacuum to pneumatically convey the corn from the bin into a waiting semi-truck trailer. The victim entered the bin, something the lifelong farmer had done many times, to hold back and meter spoiled corn as it mixed with other corn flowing toward the grain vacuum at the side door below. He became entrapped and then engulfed in the flowing grain. The victim in this event, which was not witnessed, was recovered by emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and transported to a local hospital where death was pronounced. The cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation due to submersion in grain within a bin. Recommendations: 1. Place signs warning about the hazards of confined spaces at all entrances to bins. 2. Allow no one to enter or be inside a bin during loading or unloading. 3. If a grain bin must be entered, use a safety harness and three-person team for the entry. 4. Break up surface crusts or clumps from outside the bin.
Region-7; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Confined-spaces; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Safety-practices; Safety-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-09IA012; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008460
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