Agriculture, forestry and fishing

Grain entrapments on the rise: report

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Photo: iStock/Thinkstock/Dervin Witmer

West Lafayette, IN – Worker grain entrapments in the United States increased 15 percent in 2014, according to a report from Purdue University.

At least 38 grain entrapments occurred in 2014, up from 33 entrapments a year earlier. Seventeen fatalities were recorded, an increase from 13 deaths in 2013. Eighty-seven percent of grain entrapments took place in Midwest states, with Minnesota (six), Indiana (four) and Iowa (four) accounting for the most cases.

The increase could be attributed to larger amounts of grain being stored after a record harvest, university researchers said in a press release.

Young or inexperienced agricultural workers are at heightened risk of injury, which can occur during loading or unloading of grain in bins or silos.

“Dealing with a mountain of grain can be very hazardous,” Purdue professor of agricultural health and safety Bill Field said in the press release. “If you’re working around grain for the first time and you might not be aware of the risks involved, the potential for an accident is much higher.”