Last week’s grain elevator accident in LaCrosse has prompted the Indiana Department of Labor to urge employers and employees to review grain handling facility hazards and how to prevent occupational injuries and fatalities.
Four employees at Co-Alliance were injured in an explosion caused by an industrial accident on April 15.
According to the Department of Labor, the grain handling industry is a high hazard industry where workers can be exposed to serious and life threatening hazards including fires and explosions from grain dust accumulation. Other hazards include suffocation from engulfment and entrapment in grain bins, falls from heights and crushing injuries, and amputations from equipment.
Since 1980 grain bins across the U.S have been responsible for more than 180 deaths and 675 injuries. Just last year, a Hoosier farmer in La Porte county was killed in a grain bin accident. This month a 9-year-old Wisconsin boy was killed after falling into a grain bin. With harvest time approaching the Indiana Department of Labor wants to remind everyone of the hazardous nature of working with grain bins and offer some tips to assure safety.
High school and college students are encouraged to take part in a social media contest sponsored by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, Indiana Department of Labor, Indiana Department of Transportation and the Indiana State Police.
The entities have partnered to award $5,000 in scholarships to students who compose the most creative, inspiring and viral posts on Twitter, Instagram or Vine using the slogan “Drive Now. TXT L8R.” The high school and college student whose post has the most tweets, retweets and favorites on Twitter will win. For Vine and Instagram entries, the most likes and the most creative will win.
The Indiana Department of Labor’s annual survey found that the state’s non-fatal occupational injury and illness rate is 4 per 100 workers, which is the lowest rate since the survey was introduced in 1992. The 2012 rate represents a one-year decline of more than seven percent.