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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200998581 - Employee Is Killed In Fall Into Corn Silo

Accident: 200998581 -- Report ID: 0551800 -- Event Date: 12/29/2009
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31390475712/30/20095153Peterson Grain
On December 29, 2009, Employee #1 and Employee #2 climbed on and in a 110 ft high grain (corn) storage bin or silo, as instructed by their employer, to move the corn to an opening where it was to be moved by an auger. Upon completion of the task, Employee #1 started to climb out of the silo. Employee #2 was finishing up by picking up the tools and making sure all the corn was moved. Employee #1 apparently became frightened and was unable to climb the full height of the silo ladder. The silo ladder did not have a cage inside the silo. Employee #1 stopped about half-way up, restarted his ascent, and then again became unable to move when he was approximately five ft from the top of the silo's 3 ft by 3 ft opening on the roof. He lost his grip and fell to the bottom of the silo, hitting the corn in the bottom head first. Employee #2 climbed out and called down to other employees to summon emergency medical response, saying that Employee #1 had fallen and was injured. Employee #1 was killed by the fall. The employer did not require or give the two employees any fall protection. Another employee, who was assigned to be the contact person on the outside of the silo bin, was not given training in recovery procedures that may be needed. He also did not stay in the location where he could keep in contact with the employees in the silo while they were performing their task of moving the corn to an opening where it was to be moved by an auger. The auger, through inspection, was found not to be in the silo where the employees were standing on the corn without any protection from being engulfed in the corn. The employer did not have any rescue equipment onsite in case of emergency. The only way for any communication was through a small opening in the side of the silo, 20 ft above ground level. The employer did not have the air quality checked before the employees entered the silo, and the employer advised that he just knew that the air was okay and never checks air quality. The responding fire department did check the air and reported that the oxygen level was 20.9. In addition, they had to get their equipment up on the silo using the fire truck extension ladder. On January 28, 2009, the silo was holding 12 ft of wet corn in the bottom.
Keywords: head, work rules, fall, fall protection, concussion, lost control, untrained, grain bin, unguarded, silo
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 313904757 Fatality Concussion Occupation not reported

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