The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has pointed out that disregarding safety measures and procedures could lead to more work-related injury or death for Illinois grain workers. Following the deaths of two grain workers in another state, OSHA sent out letters to every single farmer and company that uses grain bins in their operations reiterating safety measures. Ignoring these measures, such as the use of safety harnesses in grain bins, could lead to further work-related injury or death.

Workplace injuries are tragic because many of them are preventable by exercising more caution and following through with safety measures that are in place. Sadly, even with the exposure that OSHA has placed on the dangers of grain bins, many of the safety standards and practices are not being followed. For Illinois employers that know how to keep their employees safe, yet do not do so, there is no excuse.

In a nationwide poll that was taken by Purdue University, there have been over 660 grain bin-related deaths in recent years. Adding to the tragedy of the situation, many of these deaths could have been prevented, especially with increasing technology and newly-developed safety measures. According to OSHA, there is no reason or explanation for needlessly exposing workers to harm.

Many times, a work-related injury is preventable. While the farming industry faces challenges and safety hazards, employers should provide every available training and safety measure to ensure that employees are kept safe at all times. Employers that do not do so could be held accountable.

Source: The Journal Gazette, “Deaths in the workplace are no accident,” Jul 7, 2013