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Using Fault Tree Analysis to Identify Contributing Factors to Engulfment in Flowing Grain in On-Farm Grain Bins

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 11(4): 395-405. (doi: 10.13031/2013.19718) @2005
Authors:   D. M. Kingman, W. E. Field
Keywords:   Engulfment, Fault tree analysis, Flowing grain, Hazard, Suffocation

Findings reported by researchers at Illinois State University and Purdue University indicated that since 1980, an average of eight individuals per year have become engulfed and died in farm grain bins in the U.S. and Canada and that all these deaths are significant because they are believed to be preventable. During a recent effort to develop intervention strategies and recommendations for an ASAE farm grain bin safety standard, fault tree analysis (FTA) was utilized to identify contributing factors to engulfments in grain stored in on-farm grain bins. FTA diagrams provided a spatial perspective of the circumstances that occurred prior to engulfment incidents, a perspective never before presented in other hazard analyses. The FTA also demonstrated relationships and interrelationships of the contributing factors. FTA is a useful tool that should be applied more often in agricultural incident investigations to assist in the more complete understanding of the problem studied.

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