Fatal Farm Accidents
Officials are calling attention to a recent wave of fatal farm incidents -- and they're urging farmers to take safety precautions when working in grain bins.
Kevin Paap with the Farm Bureau says many farmers are desperate to salvage their crops following a rough year weather-wise in 2019. He said wet conditions resulted in low-quality grain for storage.
"As people are having issues, or they're maybe moving it earlier than expected," he said, "some of that grain that wants to spoil kind of clumps up together."
As a result, he said, a farmer might jump in to remove the clump -- and can become trapped if he or she is working alone or not using the proper safety equipment. Paap said that's why it's crucial for farmers working at grain bins to have someone with them at all times and to use the correct gear.
Paap says technology has made farming safer in a lot of ways, but farmers still need to have a cautious approach.
"Whether we have too wet, or frozen fields, sometimes we get the problems," he said, "so it's just, we just need to think about being safe, each and every day."
Larger farm operations are required to follow OSHA regulations, but farms with fewer than 10 workers don't have to meet them.
Nationally, a database at Purdue University recorded 30 fatal incidents in 2018.