Last year saw a 40 percent increase in the number of injuries and fatalities in confined spaces across agriculture. Purdue University released its 2022 summary of accidents involving agricultural confined space-related injuries and deaths.
The summary reported 83 cases, 24 of which were fatal and 59 nonfatal cases involving agricultural confined spaces. That’s almost a 41 percent increase over the 59 cases in 2021. These numbers are approximate, as the study authors realize not every case gets reported. Additionally, the 42 grain-related entrapments represented a 45 percent increase over 2021. Of the 41 non-grain-related cases, incidents included livestock waste handling facilities, entanglements inside confined spaces, falls from confined space structures, and grain dust explosions or fires.
Edward Sheldon of Purdue’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program says confined-space incidents continue to result in a significant number of injuries and fatalities. “Use best-management practices to keep yourself and employees safe,” Sheldon says.