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The Dangers of Working in Silos – Missouri Work Injury Attorney

The number of fatalities and entrapment cases resulting from silo accidents increased in 2016.

Missouri Silo Accident

In most workplaces, efforts to reduce the number of work related accidents, fatalities and injuries have proven successful. Sadly, however, this does not always apply to the farming industry. Safety hazards from silos and grain bins are still a major concern on farms.

The number of fatalities resulting from grain bin and silo accidents in the last decade has actually increased despite an overall decline in farm accidents caused by other factors.

Statistics from the Purdue Institute reveal that the year 2016 saw an increase in deaths and entrapment cases with about 18 fatalities and 29 silo/grain bin entrapments. However, researchers feel that the actual figure may be much higher. This is because while big commercial grain operation companies are mandated to report all accidents to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, small farm setups are not necessarily required to report accidents. Moreover, commercial farms are not required to report incidents wherein the worker was not hospitalized.

The Dangers of Working in a Silo

Silos can prove to be dangerous for those that work in them. A large number of accidents occur because the workers have to actually go down and try to scrape off stuck grains from the side of the silo walls. This is dangerous because workers could slip, loose their hold on the wall, and fall. If the grains begin to flow out of control, the workers could get pulled in, crushed or suffocated.

Apart from silo entrapments, about 42 more incidents in the farming industry were reported in 2016. These included incidents where workers got entangled with machinery, falls from the top of a silo, and asphyxiation caused due to entrapment.

Usually, workers face risks of injury or harm when they try to break grain blocks. These grain blocks stop the easy flow of grains. When a worker attempts to clear these blocks, he could fall in, and get crushed or asphyxiated by the sheer weight of the falling grain.

These injuries are at times enough for a victim to get permanently disabled. From bone breakage and spinal fractures to strokes and brain damage, silo and grain/bin injuries can lead to devastating, debilitating consequences. Incidentally, recovery from such injuries can be very painful and long drawn. It can take months, even years for victims to recover from the pain and suffering of enduring the accident and everything that follows, the mental stress, loss of normalcy in life, financial strain, and rehabilitation.

Compensation for Injuries and Expenses

What many farm workers are unaware of is that accidents and injuries from a silo or grain bins are eligible for workers compensation benefits. Injured workers should consult a well-trained, qualified, experienced St. Louis workers compensation attorney to understand their rights and get help with the claim.

Apart from injuries and accidents, those who have lost a loved one in a workplace related accident, should get in touch with a lawyer who can help in obtaining benefits available to victim’s loved ones.

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Updated: September 26, 2022