WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA, US — An increase in US agricultural confined spaces incidents rose 9.8% in 2019 compared to 2018, according to a report issued by Purdue University’s Department of Agriculture and Biological Engineering.
A total of 67 fatal and non-fatal cases involving all types of agricultural confined spaces were recorded in 2019, compared to 61 in 2018.
Over half of all cases recorded involved grain related entrapments compared to other cases involving falls, entanglements and asphyxiations in all types of agricultural confined spaces, the report said.
Of the 67 documented cases 38 were grain entrapment, eight falls into or from grain storage structures, five asphyxiations and 11 equipment entanglements.
Grain entrapments incidents were up 26.7% in 2019 compared to the 30 that occurred in 2018, the report said.
Since 1970 Purdue University’s Department of Agriculture and Biological Engineering has documented and investigated incidents involving grain storage and handling collecting data. In 2013 the department expanded to include incidents involving grain transport vehicles, injuries occurring in confined spaces due to exposure to mechanical components and other types of confined spaces.
Data is collected, documented and entered into the Purdue Agricultural Confined Space Incident Database (PACSID).
At the end of 2019, PACSID counted 2,117 cases documented between 1962-2019 that resulted in an injury, fatality or required an emergency extraction by first responders. Of the 2,117 cases, 60%, or 1,276 cases, were fatal with 1,496, or 71%, involving grain storage and handling facilities.