Roger Bates got into the grain auger to break up material that would have clogged the machine. But, the corn sucked him down so fast that he could not use the chain he had brought in with him as a safety measure. Lucky for Mr. Bates, his grandson reacted quickly and decisively. He called 911, turned off the auger and then got into the bin to dig out some of the corn around his grandfather’s chest before the 35,000 lbs. of corn suffocated him. Five hours later, emergency responders were able to free Mr. Bates from the bin.
To say Mr. Bates was extremely lucky is an understatement, as fifty percent of all grain engulfments accidents end with the victim being suffocated to death. Over the last 50 years, there have been more than 900 grain engulfment accidents in the United States.
In 2010, the number of grain accident engulfments reached an all-time high, so efforts were launched to improve safety, awareness and enforcement. The United States Department of Labor has issued a hazard alert, and OSHA has developed a fact sheet to help employers maintain safe work places for their employees.
Farm accidents of any type can be devastating. If you or a loved one has been injured in a farm accident and would like to discuss your case with one of our award-winning lawyers, please call us anytime at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866-812-8787 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We handle all injury and death cases on a contingency basis. Of course, not every injury or death on a farm is the fault of another person or company, However, our lawyers will evaluate the facts of the incident to determine whether the injury or death could have been prevented.