The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating an accident that recently occurred at United Ethanol in Wisconsin. A man was fatally injured at work when the contents of a grain silo fell on him. The man ended up dying as a result.
The official cause of death was asphyxiation according to the Rock County Coroner's Office. He was unable to breathe from the pressure of the corn on his chest. The silo in question contained somewhere in the neighborhood of 140,000 bushels at the time of the accident. OSHA is trying to determine if there were any safety breaches that were responsible for the man's death.
It has already been determined that all of the conveyor belts and grain chutes on the outside of the silo were locked, so it was not an error from outside the silo. It has not yet been determined whether there were any safety issues inside the silo that may have saved the man's life. As it was, it took emergency crews hours to remove enough corn from the silo just to reach the man's body.
If the man that died had a family, it may be advantageous for them to find out what workers' compensation benefits they are entitled to under Wisconsin law. Most people are already aware that anyone that is injured at work may apply for workers' compensation benefits. Not as many people may know that if an employee dies on the job, his or her family may be entitled to certain benefits as well. Having assistance in determining what those benefits are may ensure that a family receives all of the benefits to which they are entitled.
Source: GazetteXtra.com, "Authorities give details in United Ethanol grain silo death," Neil Johnson, April 23, 2013