Farm workers face perils in grain bins, silos

Capital News Service
LANSING – As farmers move grain from harvested fields to large cylindrical silos and bins, these traditional agricultural symbols can become death traps for farmers. At least 38 grain storage structure incidents occurred throughout the country last year – up 15 percent since 2013 – and 17 of the 38 cases were fatal, according to the Agricultural Safety and Health Program at Purdue University. Two of the incidents happened in Michigan, including the death of 30-year-old Eric Rodman, who was engulfed by soybeans after falling into a rail car at the Andersons Grain Group in St. Joseph County. In the other incident, 67-year-old Mike Thrams was trapped inside a grain bin in Branch County, where flowing corn rose to his diaphragm.