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Senior Advisor
Jim Meade / Iowa City
Posts: 2,506
Registered: ‎04-30-2010

25 Deaths.

"Record number of grain bin fatalities in 2010; OSHA cites employers

A Purdue University report revealed that 2010 was the deadliest year in decades for grain bin fatalities. According to a Bloomberg story by Michael J. Crumb, the report indicated there were "51 grain bin accidents last year, up from 38 in 2009 and the most since tracking began in 1978. Twenty-five people died, and five of them were children under age 16. The previous record for grain bin accidents was 42 in 1993.""

 

25 people died in the grain bin accidents in 2010.  That is a high number year.

 

Of course, any unnecessary death is a tragedy and these were all unnecessary.  But we have OSHA and other branches of governmenbt wnating put laws into place to deal with 25 deaths, and these were in different categories.  Some were in big plants and some on family farms.  How would you enforce these laws?  How many people would it take, how much productivity would be lost and how many businesses affected and to what degree?  At some point, we have to say we'll accept the risk.

 

What would be acceptable and what cost is worth paying?   Insurance companies have a big say in safety practices.  Education and equipment changes stopped the corn picker from taking hands off.  

 

There are plenty of laws on the books right now to charge people with child endangerment and other crimes if they unnecessarily or unreasonably expose their child to risk.

 

How do you enforce laws at the family farm level?  You don't.  some will follow the law, some will not even no it exists and some will scoff at it.  Do you try to entice a child to turn the father in?  Do you have surpirse inspections of farms each fall and winter?  Do you pay for snitches at grain elevators or funeral homes?

 

For the last ten years, New York City, the base of the newspaper this article is written in, has had an average of 494 homicides per year.  The reporters could have done more good by joining the New York City police force than they could by writing an article  trying to reduce the number of grain bin deaths.  Why don't they focus on NYC crime?  Because they are used to it and tolerate it but they are not used to the risks of farming and think they should speak out about it.

 

25 deaths is a tragedy but it is not a reason for the intrusions of unenforceable laws into the family farm, and by that I also mean the extended family farm as exemplified by work swapping amon neighbors and other than immediate family.

 

I don't care what laws they pass about Cargill and the local co-op.   Those peope are already strongly influenced by insurance company edicts, anyway.  will a law make it better or simply provide the government more jobs and a way to fine them when they're caught?

 

Education and better equipment is the answer to these kinds of problems, not laws and outsider interference.