Grain bin deaths are preventable, and yet they continue to occur. To create awareness of potential risks of being overwhelmed by grain, the week of Feb.17 through Feb. 23 will be the Grain Bin Safety Week of 2019 in 14 states, one of which is Minnesota. Researchers say significant numbers of grain engulfment incidents occur every year, and 2010 was the worst year, with at least 26 fatalities in grain bins.
A doctor at a Minnesota burn center says frostbite is more common than what most people think. The facility treated 90 patients for frostbite during last winter. He says that familiarity with the bitter cold of the Minnesota winters brings about complacency that could be dangerous. He says it is crucial to see frostbite as a burn injury that happens when a person's skin and the underlying tissues freeze, and it is a workplace injury that could occur quickly.
Workers in Minnesota and elsewhere who are exposed to the vibrations of power tools for many years might not realize the dangers for serious injuries. Those who work in manufacturing, construction, forestry, food processing, agriculture and other industries that use power tools are at risk of developing a workplace injury called Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), also known as Vibration White Finger Syndrome (VWF). The tools that could cause this affliction include grinders, chainsaws, jackhammers, chippers, crushers, mowers, sorting conveyors and more.
Minnesota workers in various industries are exposed to the dangers posed by confined spaces. Employers must inform employees of potential hazards, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has stringent rules about confined spaces and regulating access to these areas to help prevent an employee from suffering a workplace injury. Many workers do not realize that confined spaces are not necessarily small -- even a tanker is a confined space because there are limited entry and exit points.