There are many accidents involving grain augers on farms across the United States every year. While many of these incidents result in minor injuries, some can be pretty serious.
Accidents can happen in any workplace, and the agricultural industry is no exception. Unfortunately, many casualties go unreported in the daily operation of a farm.
Have you or someone you know suffered an injury in a farming accident? If so, it is crucial to understand your legal options and seek representation from an experienced personal injury attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC.
Contact our farm accident lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss receiving compensation for your injuries.
What Is a Grain Auger?
Grain augers are typically used to transfer grain from storage grain bin to trucks or from the threshing machine to the elevator. They can also be used to load and unload barges and ships.
They are usually made of steel, aluminum, or a combination of the two. The average auger is 30 feet long and six inches in diameter, but they can vary greatly in size. There are also many different types of augers, each with its own unique set of features.
There are two main types of grain augers: power-driven and hand-cranked. Power-driven augers are typically used for large-scale operations, while hand-cranked augers are more suitable for small-scale or home use.
Grain augers are simple machines that consist of a rotating helical blade, or screw, that is encased in a tube. As the auger rotates, the grain is forced up the tube and out the discharge end.
The blade is the key component of the auger. The blades are typically made of steel or aluminum and are either welded or bolted onto the auger shaft.
Farmers use an auger wagon to transport grain or animal feed from one place to another. The feed or crop is loaded on the wagon for long-distance traveling.
Types of Grain Auger Accidents
Workers must be adequately trained on using and maintaining the farm equipment to avoid being injured
In some cases, spilled grain could cause the auger to lose its power track. The user might not see the spilled grain if they were distracted. Likewise, the auger’s shaft could disrupt electric wires, causing the unsafe machinery to catch fire or cause electrocution.
The grain auger’s shaft is a long tube in the center. This long tube turns the auger in a clockwise direction. The grain is pulled in and pushed up the shaft from the ground or any other surface.
The auger also has shields or guards to protect your hands and feet. Here are some of the most common types of auger events that occur on farms:
Faulty equipment is the number one cause of auger incidents that harm workers. This includes worn-out parts, missing parts (guards), improperly installed parts, and defective parts. If farm equipment is not working correctly, it can cause an accident during operation.
For example, if there’s an exposed screw, it can cause damage to the machinery and farm hands. An exposed screw can disrupt electrical wires or cause severe harm during operation.
It’s essential to check if the augers’ safety features are working properly to avoid disruption.
Unsafe machinery places people who operate the auger at risk of being injured. However, many farms still operate unsafe, alarmingly outdated machinery due to expensive upgrades.
Maintenance is imperative to make sure the machinery works properly. Following safety precautions and maintaining augers protect workers and other people in the area
Missing Intake Screens
Intake screens are safety features installed at the base of the augers. They prevent the feet and hands of the farmers from getting injured by the tube and auger screw.
If the shields are missing or damaged, the worker should not operate the augers to carry any load.
Farm operator error causes injuries and fatalities. Many problems that compromise the worker’s health arise when someone is:
- Not following the proper safety precautions for a farm,
- Not paying attention to what they are doing, or
- Working under the influence of drugs or alcohol
An environmental hazard on the farm can also cause an auger accident. For instance, wet or icy conditions, high winds, and debris in the area, could lead to an auger injury.
If the user is not aware of dealing with malfunctioning augers on the farm, the machinery could cause an injury. Since the auger operates while on the ground, it is affected by snow and rain. Problems can also arise when the ground is hardened by freezing.
If an auger hits a power line while in use on the farm, anyone operating the machine or near is at risk for electrocution. This type of grain auger entanglement is often fatal or causes severe injuries.
The entanglement of the wires can create many hazards and loss of power or lead to fire hazards.
If the auger is not properly maintained, it could easily cause a fire from a build-up of dust and chaff in the grain auger at the work site. Proper maintenance of the augers on the farm is important to prevent a severe injury or fatality.
Hire a Grain Bin Accident Lawyer to Resolve Your Compensation Claim
Were you injured through the negligence of others when using an auger? You can likely receive compensation for your loss. Surviving families who lose a loved one in an auger accident on the farm can file a wrongful death lawsuit for damages.
Our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for those injured in farming accidents who can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form now to schedule a free consultation.
We accept all accident injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency basis, meaning payment of your fees is postponed until we obtain compensation through a negotiated settlement or jury verdict.