Five Dangers Grain Handling Workers Face at Work
Grain handling facilities are essential for bringing agricultural products from the fields to store shelves.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a grain handling facility, “may receive, handle, store, process, and ship bulk raw agricultural commodities such as (but not limited to) corn, wheat, oats, barley, sunflower seeds, and soybeans. Grain handling facilities include grain elevators, feed mills, flour mills, rice mills, dust pelletizing plants, dry corn mills, facilities with soybean flaking operations,
and facilities with dry grinding operations of soycake.”
Grain Handling is a High-Risk Industry
Workers in grain handling facilities are at risk of suffering serious or life-threatening injuries because of:
- Fires and explosions. Grain dust may accumulate and make a fire or explosion more likely. In 2018, one person died and four people were hurt in grain dust explosions. The year before, five people died and 12 people were hurt. These hazards cause burn injuries, respiratory issues, and death.
- Entrapment. Workers may be trapped in grain bins. They might slip into the grain and be deprived of oxygen. Suffocation is the leading cause of work-related deaths for grain storage bin workers.
- Falls. Some people perform their work well above ground level and could fall. This might result in a broken bone, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, internal injury, or fatality.
- Equipment injuries. Grain handling requires heavy machinery. When something goes wrong, a worker could be crushed. These accidents cause broken bones, amputations, and death.
- Airborne contaminants. Storage facilities occasionally have unsafe levels of dangerous gases and chemicals. A worker exposed to these toxins could suffer a heart or central nervous system injury, or develop cancer.
Employers must comply with OSHA standards for preventing these types of accidents. If they don't, they're often liable for compensating an injured worker for financial recovery.
The time to take action is now. You may be able to pursue a workers’ compensation claim or file a personal injury lawsuit. Attorney Steven M. Lee, P.C., offers a free initial consultation to review the details of your case. You'll also learn about your legal rights, and the potential for compensation. Start a live chat now to see how we can help you.