Posted in: Bizarre Accident of the Week, confined spaces, Fatality, In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News & Views, Teen workers
A 17-year-old worker at a grain elevator in Haswell, CO, was killed after being buried alive in a grain bin.
Police say Cody Rigsby was buried under several feet of grain inside a bin at the Tempel Grain elevator.
On the day of the incident, local emergency officials were notified at 1:30 p.m. that a worker was missing and believed trapped in the bin, according to The Pueblo Chieftain.
Four fire departments and community volunteers worked until 7 p.m. the same day to recover Rigsby’s body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
It’s not known what safety equipment was being used at the time of the incident.
Workers should be trained to assume that the potential for entrapment in a bin with stored loose materials (grain, sand, gravel, coal) is always present, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Other safety steps:
- Workers shouldn’t be allowed to enter a storage area from the bottom when material is adhering to the sides or is bridged overhead.
- When workers must enter storage areas, they should stay above the material at all times and never stand or walk on top of it.
- Any time a worker enters a storage area, the supply and discharge of materials must be stopped and locked out.
- Workers entering storage areas should wear safety belts or harnesses with properly fastened life lines.