2019 Summary Of U.S. Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries And Fatalities

Since the 1970’s Purdue University’s Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department has been documenting and investigating incidents involving grain storage and handling facilities at both commercial and on-farm locations. Beginning in 2013, the effort was expanded, with support from a U.S. Department of Labor Susan Harwood Training Grant, to include incidents involving grain transport vehicles (trucks, wagons, railcars); injuries occurring inside of confined spaces due to exposure to powered mechanical components, such as augers; falls from or into confined spaces; and other types of agricultural confined spaces including forage storage silos, liquid storage tanks, and manure storage facilities. All documented cases have been reviewed by a team of experts to ensure elimination of duplicates, assign case information to specific coding categories, and to identify potential contributing factors. Data were derived from a wide range of sources including online searches, news clippings from local sources, work product from civil litigation, published personal accounts, and death certificates (during early years). The data were coded using a coding form developed and tested by Riedel and Field (2013). Coded data were entered into the Purdue Agricultural Confined Space Incident Database (PACSID) allowing for summarization.

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