Characteristics of Flowing Grain-related Entrapments and Suffocations with Emphasis on Grain Transport Vehicles

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Field, William E.;
  • Kelley, Kevin W.


A study was undertaken to estimate the frequency, contributing factors, and characteristics associated with fatalities resulting from on-farm flowing grain entrapments, with special attention given to grain transport vehicles (GTVs). A total of 235 cases were identified, 39 of which involved some type of GTV.

Children, ages 2 to 16, were found to have the highest frequency of suffocation in flowing grain, accounting for 43% of all identified fatalities. Of the identified GTV incidents, 87% involved a child under 15 years of age. The average known age in the GTV cases was 11 years old, and overall, the average known age was 32. These events predominately occurred in the geographic region known as the “Corn Belt”. Seventy-four percent of the GTV-related fatalities occurred during October and November when most of the corn in the Midwest is harvested. Few incidents were identified outside of the harvest period. It is clear that this type of entrapment is strongly related to the harvest and transport of shelled corn from the field to the farm. Shelled corn was involved in 112 of 142 cases overall and in 20 of the 23 GTV cases where the material was known. Recommendations for reducing the frequency of entrapments in GTVs are provided.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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