Fatal Accident Circumstances and Epidemiology (FACE) Report: Farmer Dies in Indiana


The owner of a 100 acre grain farm was engulfed in shelled corn inside a 12,000 bushel capacity grain storage bin and suffocated. He was well acquainted with the proper safety procedures to be used when entering a storage bin. The farmer was a diabetic and had been having dizzy spells. His purpose at the bin that day was to remove part of the 8,000 bushels of shelled corn inside onto a truck and to stir the remaining corn with an auger to help lower the temperature and prevent spoilage. It was assumed that he climbed the ladder to the top and entered the door of the bin. His son arrived some time later, noted the auger running and finished loading the truck, assuming his father was visiting neighbors. After loading, the son closed the chute but left the auger running and left the site. Two hours later he returned looking for his father. The bin was opened and holes were cut in the base to remove the corn, which took about 2 hours by hand before the farmer was found. The cause of death was listed as suffocation. It is recommended that a standby person always be used when working in a confined space arrangement, and that harnesses and life lines be used when the confined space contains unstable materials.


SOURCE: Morgantown, West Virginia: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 1987. 4.


This document was extracted from the CDC-NIOSH Epidemiology of Farm Related Injuries: Bibliography With Abstracts, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

We are unable to supply copies of the full report cited in this entry. Readers are advised to use the following sources:

  • Author or publisher: articles are frequently available from the author or publisher.
  • Medical or other research libraries: these facilities often have the material on hand or know where it can be obtained. If available, each journal entry includes the appropriate National Library of Medicine unique identification number to aid in interlibrary loan requests.
  • Government: some U.S. Government-sponsored research reports, including ones out-of print, are available from the National Technical Information Service, U.S. Department of Commerce.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More