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Silo Suffocations

Across the United States, being buried alive or suffocating in grain silos are a critical concern for workers and farm owners.

Without suitable safety harnesses and efficient safety protocols, silo suffocations can occur unexpectedly and quickly.

Accidents in silos have for decades remained consistently high; dozens become death, each year, when working around or in grain silos and bins on ranches and farms.

The demand across the world for grain in the last few decades has escalated.

Used in food for human consumption, livestock feed, and even fuel in power vehicles, grain is a commodity.

Silos, however, of every size and shape can pose major hazards to workers on the farm.

These bins, with all kinds of wheat, soybeans, corn, and grains, are loaded.

The danger has become so severe that the U.S. Labor Department has stipulated new rules to prohibit those 17 years old and younger from being employed in commercial grain bins and silos in order to keep them out of harm’s way and safe.

People can die from silo suffocations or in a grain bin when immersed in grain while playing or working.

The most typical grain injuries and fatalities occur by being engulfed in sorghum, livestock feed, cottonseed, and yellow corn.


The worker, normally, becomes engulfed when loosening spoiled or frozen grain.

While the auger is operating, it can result easily in the worker becoming entrapped, and ultimately dying by suffocation.

Grain storage bin workers, in other scenarios, walk on top a grain bridge that hardens, believing this hardening of grain can hold the individual's weight.

The grain can give way, and can result in the worker falling and becoming entrapped. 


Preventable Accidents

Virtually every type of silo suffocations can be considered preventable.

Deaths and injuries can be prevented when the supervisors and workers adhere to essential training, and use appropriate equipment of safety.

By adhering to proper practices of work, and regulations from OSHA on handling grain, farm hands can prevent any risk of fatality by the likelihood of a grain avalanche or another suffocation cause in the silo or bin.

These safety measures of prevention can include the following: during auger operation, never enter grain bins; receive effective lockout procedures and proper training; learn how to enter a grain bin or silo safely; and only install augers which have been manufactured and designed considering safety.

During a silo accident involving the occurrence of engulfment or suffocation, every at-fault party needs to be held liable for sustained injuries or fatalities.

Naturally, this depends on facts involving the case, and in the incident of any worker in the accident sustaining injuries, or members of the family of the deceased loved one dying due to silo suffocation; each individual has the legal right to file a claim for products liability, worker’s compensation, or personal injury to receive full compensation or benefits.

If you have lost a member of the family in a silo suffocation accident, attorneys can proceed in investigating the agricultural catastrophe, and begin the process of filing a lawsuit or claim against the defendants for the death of your loved one.

Contact us for a free consultation or call Anzalone Law Firm PLLC, at: 603.548.3797.

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