WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Steve Wettschurack works as a farm accident instructor at Purdue. He said dozens of grain bin accidents occur nationally each year.
"We have to stop and look at each and every time we work with this equipment that we don't let our guard down," Wettschurack said. "It's a matter of seconds that injuries happen and in some cases, unfortunately, a fatality."
A Purdue University study shows that at least 27 grain bin accidents occurred on farms and commercial grain handling facilities in 2011. Eight of those 27 grain bin accidents were fatal. The latest, Wednesday, when a man was working at the Stone Bluff Elevator in Veedersburg.
"Anytime you get in the grain industry, whether they're million bushel bins or 10,000 bushel bins, they're all very dangerous," Wettschurack explained.
Wettschurack said it's not uncommon for thousands of pounds of corn to get stuck to the side of the bin wall. He said farmers can be injured by either the huge falling chunks or be entrapped by them.
But Wettschurack said in order to avoid these types of accidents, it could be as simple as always working with a partner.
"Don't work alone," Wettschurack said. "There has to be someone else there that could help you in case something happens, like shutting a piece of equipment off. No. 2, is there is just not a really good reason to be inside of a bin with flowing grain, no matter what the size is."
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