Preventable Grain Silo Accidents Claim Too Many Lives Each Year
Both children and adults being buried and killed in grain silo accidents is more common than you might realize, including here in Texas. It is often difficult for first responders to get inside the silo to get the victims out quickly enough, and it can not only happen to children who are drawn onto these properties because the silos are attractive to them, but also to experienced employees who work on site for grain companies while they are inside silos secured by a rope while grain is pouring in.
Conditions can be especially dangerous when grain is placed in the bin while still wet. In fact, this is the most common cause of silo accidents because an employee has to enter the bin to break up the wet chunks of grain, and this is when the grain shifts and traps the individual, potentially suffocating them. People can also die from asphyxiation, fall, or get caught in the machinery. As a result, some researchers are now working on ways to ensure that people who are caught in these grain bins can be rescued, while urging state officials to take action to ensure that each and every property with grain silos has the equipment on hand to ensure that these tragedies are prevented altogether. While grain bin rescue gear has been around for some time, these researchers have worked with firefighters to develop what they claim is a better, completely preventative system. The question ultimately becomes: What should grain companies be legally obligated to have on-hand in order to ensure that anyone on the property can be rescued in time?
How The New Equipment Works
The new equipment reportedly forms a metal shield or barrier about six feet tall around the trapped individual, which allows a rescuer to dig them out and prevent more grain from covering them. Thus far, researchers have worked with 22 states on how to conduct rescues using the new equipment.
Why Are These Accidents Still Happening?
According to the researchers who have developed this new gear, these deaths are 100 percent preventable, but while large grain-handling companies have to follow specific safety rules, individual farmers do not, and will sometimes cut corners when it come stop ensuring that staffers enter grain bins with other employees and wear safety harnesses attached to a rope in order to ensure that they do not get buried in the grain.
If You’ve Been Hurt or Lost a Loved One in an Accident, Contact Our Texas Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys
If you have been injured on the job, or have lost a loved one who has, an attorney can help you hold a property owner responsible. Employers have to ensure that employees are provided with basic safety provisions that prevent these types of accidents. If this has affected you, contact our experienced Houston premises liability attorneys at The West Law Office today to find out more about how we can help.