A 44-year-old farmer was killed when his jacket became entangled on the protruding metal shaft of a feed bin auger. The victim was atop the feed bin, trying to unclog feed from the auger by beating on the tin cylinder through which the feed passed into the bin. (See Figure 1.) The feed had become clogged at this point several times in the past, and the victim had performed this task on those occasions without injury. There were no witnesses to this incident. It was a rainy day, and the victim was wearing leather-soled boots, so it is possible that his foot slipped on the wet grain bin roof, causing him to grasp or fall against the auger shaft. His nylon jacket was found with its front sections shredded, and nylon threads were embedded in the victim's neck. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The KY FACE investigators concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences, the following precautions should be taken:

  • Before attempting to unclog an auger, power should be turned off
  • Auger shaft ends should always have protective covers or shields
  • Handrails should be installed on tops of grain bins
  • Slip-resistant paint should be used on tops of grain bins, or a flat platform should be installed, in order to provide a safer surface on which to stand
  • Shoes or boots worn when working on tops of grain bins should have slip-resistant soles, and other clothing should be well-fitting and zipped or buttoned

Document Type


Release Date


Incident Number

96KY00901; 96KY009a