As deaths add up, farmers ‘walk the grain’ unprotected

In July, a 55-year-old man working for Premier Cooperative in Sidney, Ill., suffocated and died after becoming trapped in a grain bin filled with corn. His death marked the first grain-bin fatality for Illinois this year, but with expected large crop yields coming, more farmers may be at risk.

OSHA aims to prevent ‘needless deaths’

The deadliest year for grain-bin workers on record was 2010, when at least 26 workers died throughout the country, according to grain-bin entrapment data from Purdue University. There were more than 50 total incidents that year. The frequency of accidents was so alarming that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s assistant secretary of labor, David Michaels, sent a letter to thousands of grain storage facility operators throughout the United States.