Ohioans who work in the agricultural industry are likely aware that grain silos may be hazardous to people who are employed in them. Some people who work in silos are entrapped by grain, resulting in injuries and deaths every year.
According to researchers at Purdue University, the number of entrapment cases and deaths increased in 2016. During the year, 29 people were entrapped and 18 were reported to have lost their lives. The number is likely higher, according to the researchers. While large commercial grain operations are supposed to report all incidents to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, small farms do not have to report the incidents. Commercial operations also are not required to report incidents in which workers were not hospitalized.
In addition to grain entrapment cases, the researchers found that there were 42 other incidents involving grain accidents in 2016. Some of the cases involved entanglements with machinery. Others involved falls from silos or asphyxiations. The other incident types accounted for 22 deaths during the year. Many of the entrapment incidents happen when workers try to break up grain stoppages that have ended the smooth grain flow. The grain may then fall on the workers, engulfing them.
People who are injured while working at grain silos may be left facing permanent disabilities. They may want to consult with workers’ compensation lawyers about getting the maximum allowable benefits that may be available to them for their workplace accidents. Workers’ compensation lawyers may help their clients to recover permanent or temporary total or partial disability payments in addition to benefits to cover their medical expenses and related costs. People whose loved ones have been killed in grain accidents may also want to seek help from workers’ compensation lawyers in order to try to recover monthly benefits that are designed to help the recoup a percentage of their loved ones’ former incomes.