Half of confined-space ag incidents last year were fatal

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

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West Lafayette, IN — At least 64 incidents involving confined spaces in the agriculture industry were documented in 2020, and half were fatal, according to an annual report recently released by Purdue University.

The 32 deaths are more than confined space fatalities reported in the mining industry (29) last year. Of the agricultural deaths, 20 involved grain entrapment. Falls, entanglement in grain-handling equipment and asphyxiation/poisoning each contributed to three deaths, while the causes of the three remaining cases were classified as “other.”

The university’s agricultural and biological engineering department has investigated and documented incidents involving grain storage and handling facilities since the 1970s. According to its records, around 60% of incidents involving agricultural confined spaces have resulted in a fatality.

The report, citing a 2013 study, notes that because many agricultural facilities aren’t covered by OSHA injury and illness reporting requirements, around 30% of cases go unreported or undocumented.

“The number of documented fatal cases continues to be higher than the number of nonfatal cases for all confined space incidents, further suggesting an underreporting of nonfatal incidents,” the report states.

Illinois, with 17, led all states with the most documented cases of agricultural confined space incidents – nonfatal and fatal. Next were Minnesota and North Dakota, each with seven.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

No change to number of on-the-job injuries and illnesses in private sector, BLS says

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Washington — The number of nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses in the U.S. private sector remained unchanged in 2019, as did the incidence rate of total recordable cases, according to annual data released Nov. 4 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Workers in private industry experienced an estimated 2.8 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses last year – a number that has remained the same over the past three years. The total recordable rate – also unchanged for the third consecutive year – was 2.8 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers. Estimated nonfatal injuries and illnesses that resulted in at least one day of lost work totaled 888,220 – “essentially unchanged from 2018” as well.

Other findings:

  • The manufacturing sector accounted for 15% of the estimated 2.8 million injuries and illnesses, but its total recordable rate decreased to 3.3 per 100 FTE workers from 3.4 in 2018.
  • The median number of days away from work was eight, the same as in 2018.
  • Injured employees age 65 or older had a median DAFW of 16.
  • The DAFW incident rate for men decreased to 91.7 per 10,000 FTE workers from 94.3. For women, that rate decreased to 80.4 from 83.4.
  • Additionally, private-industry workers with sprains, strains or tears that resulted in DAFW visited medical treatment facilities at a rate of 6.5 cases per 10,000 FTE workers – down from 7.3 cases in 2018. BLS noted that medical treatment facilities include emergency rooms and/or inpatient hospitalizations.

    BLS obtains its estimates from the agency’s Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Upgraded Data System to Assist Mine Operators in Ensuring Compliance with Mine Safety and Health Regulations

NEWS RELEASE

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has completed a major upgrade to its primary data system – the Mine Data Retrieval System (MDRS) – bringing increased functionality and more intuitive navigation to this widely used feature.

The MDRS offers a variety of tools to help operators monitor their compliance with MSHA regulations. The system provides access to comprehensive mine location, status, ownership, employment, production, accident/inspection/violations history, and health sampling data. Additionally, MSHA’s compliance assistance calculators – Pattern of Violations (POV), Significant and Substantial Rate, and Violations per Inspection Day – can be accessed here. The MDRS gateway is the most visited page on the agency’s website, www.msha.gov.

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