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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident Summary Nr: 200824480 - Three Workers Are Engulfed, Two Are Killed In Grain Elevator

Accident Summary Nr: 200824480 -- Report ID: 0521400 -- Event Date: 07/28/2010
Inspection NrDate OpenedSICNAICSEstablishment Name
31403743307/28/20105153424510Haasbach, L.L.C.

Abstract: At approximately 9:56 a.m. on July 28, 2010, three employees were emptying a 500,000-bushel steel plate corn storage bin at a grain elevator. Employee #1 became caught in the corn flowing into the second of two bin bottom dump points emptying into a conveyor below the bin. Three other workers nearby, Employee #2, Employee #3, and a coworker, attempted to free Employee #1. When the workers trying to rescue Employee #1 recognized that their attempt was futile, Employee #3 ordered the coworker, who was nearest the exit ladder, to exit and notify the control room to stop the conveyors and to call emergency medical services and the elevator manager. The coworker did so, while Employees #2 and #3 continued trying to rescue Employee #1. Employee #1 was totally engulfed, and Employee #2 was engulfed up to his neck. Employee #3 was engulfed up to his shoulders. He could still move his arms, so he kept trying to rescue Employee #2. He did this by manually moving flowing corn away from Employee #2's face in an attempt to maintain an airway. Once the conveyor was stopped, corn continued to flow to a settling trickle. By this time, Employee #2 was totally engulfed. Employee #3 continued moving corn to maintain his own airway until emergency medical services arrived and secured him by tying him off. Employee #3 survived his engulfment. He was rescued and airlifted to a trauma unit at approximately 4:15 p.m. Two of the three engulfed employees were suffocated and died onsite. The bodies of Employee #1 and Employee #2 were recovered at 10:15 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. the same day. The workers were not trained in the hazards associated with grain bin entry, in the required use of PPE, or in the general safety requirements of the facility. Dust masks were the only PPE in use. Language was not an issue. A fifth bin worker was not involved. The elevator manager was working alone in an adjacent bin with a sweep auger.

Keywords: asphyxiated, ppe, suffocated, agriculture, inexperience, auger, grain elevator, untrained, grain bin

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Nr Age Sex Degree Nature of Injury Occupation
1 314037433 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported
2 314037433 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported

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