HOW DOES A GRAIN ENTRAPMENT OCCUR?
Why enter a bin in the first place? The primary reason for entering a bin is to loosen crusted, frozen or spoiled grain. In other words, grain that is out of condition and resisting easy transfer from the bin to a truck through the traditional mechanisms.
How do people get trapped or swallowed after entering a bin? There are two scenarios at play here:
1) Out of condition grain can form bridges, leaving pockets of air below. Bridged grain may appear safe to walk on, but collapses with the weight of a person. This collapse can cause a suction-like effect to occur, pulling a person down into the grain like quick sand.
2) If while walking the grain, the unloading equipment is running, (meaning the bottom-feeding auger is on), a similar grain collapse can occur, covering the person in an avalanche of grain.
What happens after a person is covered in grain? Sometimes the impact of the grain falling on the entrapped person can be enough to cause fatalities. More often, though, after the person has become entrapped suffocation is the primary cause of death.
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Entrapment in grain IS PREVENTABLE. For more information regarding safety and statistics click here.