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Prediction of Extraction Forces for Entrapment Victim in Common Grain Storage Conditions

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

Citation:  2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1801410.(doi:10.13031/aim.201801410)
Authors:   Charles V. Schwab, Pamela J. Schwab, Lauren E. Schwab
Keywords:   Farm safety, Grain Suffocation, Prediction model, Rescue, Safety

Abstract. One contributor to agriculture‘s high death rate is confined space fatalities caused by entrapment in granular materials. Over 1,000 grain-related fatalities have been documented by researchers in 43 states, and those states with the largest grain storage capacities have been shown to experience a proportionally large number of the suffocation fatalities. Several researchers have measured extraction forces in specific conditions, but a reference standard for estimating the extraction forces for a grain suffocation victim in common conditions is needed. A prediction model for estimating extraction forces was developed using the principle of boundary shear, an approximation of human surface area, and a commonly accepted equation for lateral granular pressure. This paper reintroduces the prediction model for extraction forces and explores several sensitivity analyses of input variables. It also updates anthropometric data used in the model calculations, and produces extraction force estimates for adult male victims submerged below the grain surface with different body shapes. Results from the prediction model are presented graphically for common input variables, various depths of entrapment, and adult male victim body sizes.

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