At least 83 people were injured — sometimes fatally — working in grain bins, livestock waste handling facilities, cotton module builders and other confined spaces last year, a nearly 41% increase over 2021, according to a new Purdue University report.  

Twenty four of the cases in 2022 were fatal, while 59 were non-fatal. There were 59 total cases in 2021. 

Last year saw the highest number of grain entrapments in over a decade, with 42. Nine of these took place in Iowa and five in Minnesota. Four incidents each took place in Indiana and Missouri.

"Many entrapments result from someone entering a bin or structure to break loose clumped, spoiled grain," Edward Sheldon, a research associate for Purdue's Agricultural Safety and Health Program, said in a release.

At least 18 non-fatal injuries were the result of three grain dust explosions that happened last year. The explosion of an "alternative fuel plant" in Marengo, Iowa, last December accounted for 15 injuries alone, according to the Des Moines Register and the report.

Livestock waste handling facilities were the sites for 11 cases in 2022. Eight resulted in deaths. Many of the injuries likely resulted from victims performing maintenance tasks around manure storage structures, according to the report. 

Only 32 of the 83 victim's ages were known to the report's authors. Seven of these cases involved youth under the age of 21, while an additional seven involved people over the age of 60. 

Don’t miss a beat! It’s easy to sign up for a FREE month of Agri-Pulse news! For the latest on what’s happening in Washington, D.C. and around the country in agriculture, just click here.

According to the report, 40 injury or fatality cases happened on farms or in other facilities that are exempt from OSHA grain handling facilities standards or confined space standards. Another 41 took place at commercial grain facilities subject to OSHA standards.

Earlier this week, at least three people fell victim to the collapse of two grain towers in Tynan, Texas, according to a facebook post from the Bee County Sheriff's office. One male was found deceased, while two others were sent to area hospitals. Responders are searching for one more subject believed to have been trapped under debris, according to the post.

In the release, Sheldon said training and "best management practices" can help limit future injuries and fatalities. 

"We strongly encourage farmers and agribusiness employers to recognize the hazards presented by confined spaces such as grain bins, silos and manure storage facilities, and use best management practices and effective training programs to keep their families and employees safe,” Sheldon said. 

For more news, go to