OSHA investigating Bulloch County grain silo entrapment - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

OSHA investigating Bulloch County silo entrapment


Climbing into a grain silo is just part of farm work, but farmers may not be doing that work safely.

The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is looking into whether proper procedure was followed when David Averitt became trapped in a Bulloch County silo full of soybeans. His would-be rescuer, Bulloch County EMS's Darrell Colson, also was trapped. Both men were listed in good condition at Memorial University Medical Center on Friday.

Nationwide, silo entrapments have risen over the past decade – partly because more corn and soybeans are being grown, which means more people in more silos.

Glen Rains, a professor in the University of Georgia's Agriculture Department, trains firefighters in silo rescues.

"Anyone that goes into a bin should definitely be aware," he said. "They need to make sure people outside know they're going in. They should have a safety harness connected to them at the outside of the bin so that if it were to collapse, they'd have a safety line to pull them in."

WTOC asked Rains how many farmers use those harnesses.

"Not many," he said.

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