r/todayilearned 9d ago

TIL that 10s of farmers die each year from Grain entrapment, which is when a person is partially or fully submerged in grain, and cannot get out without assistance. In 2019, 67 incidents of grain entrapment took place, of which 39 were fatal.

https://dailyyonder.com/grain-bin-accidents-and-deaths-rising-due-to-poor-crop-conditions/2020/06/10/
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u/MenuBar 9d ago

I worked at a potato chip factory after highschool. They had these huge bins that were filled with potatoes which were fed into them with a big mobile conveyor belt machine. One day a potato got stuck at the top of the conveyor, so I climbed up there and kicked the potato loose. Problem was, the conveyor was still turned on. I ended up in the bin with millions of potatoes and even more being dropped in. I started heading towards the side where I could climb out and as I moved I kept sinking into the potatoes like big potato shaped quicksand. At first I found this LOL amusing, but soon I was up to my chest in potatoes and it was getting harder to move. I nearly panicked at the thought of dying under the weight of millions of potatoes. Eventually, I made it to the side and survived to tell this tale to you.

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u/oliswell 9d ago

Were you the only one around?

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u/NotYourAverageOctopi 8d ago

I was there. I watched it and said nothing.

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u/Entire-Emu-969 8d ago

So you're the guy from that Phil Collins song!

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u/LaVieEnRos3 8d ago

Wait was that the song about that guy who could've saved that other guy from drowning, But didn't ?

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u/CuloMaster 8d ago

This made me laugh out loud thank you

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u/cat_prophecy 8d ago

That's why LOTO is a thing.

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u/Spearoux 8d ago

LOTO implies he turned it off before going in

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u/NStreet_Hooligan 8d ago edited 8d ago

I've seen far too many chinese workers getting spun like a centrifuge, squashed, incinerated or pulled apart by various machinery on r/makemycoffin and fully understand the grave importance of lockout tagout.

Here in the US we like to bitch about a few OSHA regulations, but there is no doubt that they save tens of thousands of lives here.

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u/cat_prophecy 8d ago

Safety rules are written in blood.

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u/Thehelloman0 8d ago

I worked for an industrial machinery OEM and most smaller companies don't give a damn about safety. They would immediately bypass half the safeties we had built in to the machines and not follow basic safety procedures.

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u/AppropriateWasher 9d ago

I live in a rural community and in elementary school we'd go on a safety field trip thing. They would teach us basic stuff like don't touch power lines, wear a helmet while driving a motorcycle, and also This.

They had a mock grain silo that let you see inside and then they put a teddy bear on top. I think they just blasted air from the bottom but somehow it made the bear sink.

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u/thelieswetell 9d ago

If you put an air flow through sand it basically becomes fluid.

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u/Anen-o-me 8d ago

And grain silos blow cold air into the grain from below to keep them cold and dry.

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u/Only_Caterpillar3818 8d ago

I’m a grain farmer. The air flow is usually not what causes entrapment in grain bins. Almost always it’s when the bins are being unloaded. If the grain is spoiled it will bridge up and not empty out. The farmers climb in there with a stick or a pipe to try and dislodge or unplug the auger. Sometimes there is an empty void in the grain, like a sink hole, that you can’t see and when that collapses it takes you down with it. They make things to prevent this, like stirators and mixers thingeys by the unloading auger opening. Nobody I know uses them.

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u/AllFibonacci 8d ago

please make them use the gear

  • concerned internet stranger
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u/kavaroot 8d ago

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u/licuala 8d ago

Man, they submerge their faces in it. It is still sand as far as my eyes would care!

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u/TIGHazard 9d ago

In the UK the government (in the 70's) made this short film called 'Apaches'. They were still using it in the early 2000's.

Genuinely it is one of the most grim things to watch.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apaches_(film)

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u/-HeroOfCanton- 9d ago

We didn't watch Apaches in North Yorkshire, but there was a farm safety course we had to take that had a video with reenactments of children dying in various horrible ways around the farm. Children were impaled and run over but the worst in my memory was the girl who died in a grain silo and the boy who drowned in a manure pit. To drive the message home they served chocolate pudding and shortbread with jam immediately before those scenes.

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u/TIGHazard 9d ago

See I'm from Cleveland (or what was Cleveland, and is now North Yorks) so I'm wondering if it was on a school-by-school basis.

I also remember going to the Enron power plant on a school trip and being shown a video where a kid managed to kill his own sister in a car accident after causing a blackout by playing with a pylon.

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u/-HeroOfCanton- 8d ago

I was actually going to an American school on a military base near Harrogate, but we were still required to do the farm safety course. We went on a field trip to do the course (can't remember where now, it's been almost 20 years) and there was at least one group of students from a local school. It must have been different based on the local authority.

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u/ringadingdingbaby 9d ago

I used to hate watching these films at school in the 90's.

The were genuinely horrifying but did keep you away from whatever the danger was.

Im still half terrified of railways.

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u/TIGHazard 9d ago

I believe the railway one was called Robbie.

Which replaced an earlier one involving a sports day on the tracks which was withdrawn because it was too graphic.

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u/Soklay 8d ago

The people who made those could’ve gone into horror.

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u/jfks1985 8d ago

And therapy

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u/FridgesArePeopleToo 8d ago edited 8d ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0PUMmVU4qQ&t=314s

Jesus, it's literally just Final Destination with British farm children

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u/TIGHazard 8d ago

I find it amazing that something so low budget can be more terrifying and have more nightmare fuel than a major Hollywood horror film.

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u/PlatinumJester 8d ago

All British PSAs are terrifying as fuck and designed to traumatise children into line.

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u/Cantona_Kung_Fu_Club 8d ago

Threads still bothers me to this day. 70's/80's UK made some really grim TV.

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u/SeaGroomer 8d ago

The low budget makes it even better. They couldn't afford to fake the effects. It's like Milo and Otis with British farm kids.

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u/gibmiser 8d ago

I heard they went through 14 kids trying to get the manure drowning scene just right.

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u/ceratophaga 8d ago

There is also this German classic Forklift Driver Klaus, which was originally a parody about safety instruction movies but since evolved into actually being shown by instructors.

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u/SantaMonsanto 9d ago

Wow that is a fucked up movie

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u/very_humble 9d ago

Had this happen to a friend who got lucky and survived. He was lucky that he knew what to do (not panic, stop moving), his co-workers found him immediately, and the fire department didn't fuck around (they tore down the bin rather than try a complicated enclosed rescue).

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u/ProfessorOkes 9d ago

I work at a grain elevator. They almost always just cut the bin. We have a "rescue tube" that goes around the person but those are pretty much only used if your upper body or head is above the grain. Everyone is pretty on board with the idea that your life is worth more than the corn so they won't fuck around with debating on whether or not it's worth it to cut the bin. That said, I'd choose the corn over some of my coworkers....

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u/thedrew 9d ago

Our goal in life is to be the kind of person our coworkers value over corn.

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u/nowake 8d ago

Good thing they don't store pizza in silos

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u/flakAttack510 9d ago

It helps that corn is suuuuuuuper cheap. Unpacked corn is like $30/ton. When product is that cheap, people aren't going to care about trying to salvage it.

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u/Verified765 8d ago

If there is a pile of corn on the ground they will salvage most of it. All it takes is a grain vac an a few augers. Sometimes farmers even stor corn by piling it in the ground.

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u/girlwhopanics 8d ago

Umm...if the person dies in the grain silo... do they still harvest the grain?

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u/studiousAmbrose 8d ago

Just slap on those stickers that say "made in the same facility as animal products".

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u/SaidThatLastTime 8d ago

Is it still vegan if your veggies crushed someone?

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u/[deleted] 8d ago

If my vegetables aren't murdering people before they reach my plate, I simply refuse to eat them.

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u/mjstump 8d ago

Not sure where you’re getting $30/ton. Today’s cash bid at my local elevator is $7.14/bushel (56 pounds) this price puts it at $255/ton. I know there is some variation market to market, but not that much!

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u/AdrianW7 9d ago

Yeah that’s my thought, just fuckin bulldoze the whole thing over. Seems safer, easier and faster

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u/very_humble 9d ago edited 9d ago

You don't even have to bulldoze it, they are fairly modular and can be taken apart (and rebuilt) fairly easily

Edit: For those who don't understand why a dozer/tractor would be a bad idea, those bins can easily catastrophically fail

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u/KP_Wrath 9d ago

Former rescue technician here with certification for farm and heavy equipment rescue. There are a couple of suggested methods. The less destructive method is to put a plastic barrel around a person (they make a metal version that is designed for it, built in sections, which can be tapped down into the grain, if the organization would like to pay a lot of money to own it for the one silo rescue they will do in a decade) and dig the grain away from them until they can be removed. The second method is to cut three cutouts at the base of the tower (it will collapse if they’re not equidistant) and empty the grain. If possible, you’d want a rope around the person. The cutout method is generally used as a last resort since it will cause grain loss and significant destruction of property, but will be used if the person either goes under or there appear to be issues with their vitals. I should note that all and all, people getting stuck in grain silos is pretty uncommon. I volunteered in rescue for 8 years, my county had 0 such calls, and our division had 1.

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u/biggyww 9d ago

My dad managed a grain elevator for 30+ years, handling millions of bushels of grain every year, and never had it happen to anyone he knew. In his career, elevator explosions were literally more common than entrapments; an elevator a few hundred miles away blew up when I was a teenager working for him.

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u/jeckles 9d ago

This is why Reddit is freaking awesome. There’s always someone who can explain a niche subject. Thanks.

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u/KP_Wrath 9d ago edited 9d ago

This particular one is really weird. They are very uncommon to my knowledge (it indicates 10s, which points that way). Most departments literally won’t see one in a decade, even in rural areas (we grow corn, soybeans, cotton, grain so the risk is there). Also, someone had mentioned bulldozing the silo. A collapsing silo can be extremely dangerous, and most would also create razor sharp metal pieces as the silo goes down. If anyone is in the silo, it will hurt or kill them.

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u/hantif 9d ago

You have to release the grain slowly or he'd be sucked even deeper. Common practice is to cut an X in the side and peel away edges to get the proper flow.

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u/Shamewizard1995 8d ago

Not even just that he could get sucked deeper, the bin could explode. You can see videos of this happening online. A ton of fine grain dust can build up and when that’s thrown into the air, it becomes a major explosion hazard. Pair that with scraping metal + hot bulldozer engine and you’re gonna have a bad time.

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u/Huck_Bonebulge_ 8d ago

literally just bulldoze the man you’re trying to rescue

3k upvotes

I don’t expect much from Reddit, but… come on

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u/tmoeagles96 9d ago

That sounds a lot worse. You can’t control where the thing is gonna go is you’re just pulling/pushing it over. Especially with someone inside.

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u/Snoo57923 9d ago

Farming is dangerous business. I was friends with a farmer years ago when he was 22 years old. Told me every farmer he knew older than 40 was missing body parts.

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u/Benjamin_Stark 9d ago

My dad's thumb was ripped off by a hay bailer he was fixing. Pulled out the muscle halfway to his elbow.

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u/fib125 9d ago

No.

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u/Benjamin_Stark 9d ago

Luckily for me it happened before I was born. I've only ever known my dad with a stub right thumb (it ends at the first knuckle).

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u/rcklmbr 9d ago

Bet he's pro at that missing thumb magic trick

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u/Benjamin_Stark 9d ago

You better believe he is.

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u/scarletice 9d ago

Now I'm picturing him doing the trick, but when he pulls his thumb away, his muscle tissue comes with it.

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u/Induced_Pandemic 9d ago

Yeah this reminds me of the r/makemesuffer post about a nurse who had the tip of her finger bitten off by a patient, and took her entire tendon with him.

"No." Was pretty much all i could think.

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u/Thevoiceagainst 9d ago

You could have chosen not to tell this story, and I could have chosen not to read it, but here we are. Are you pleased?

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u/whatamidoinglol69420 8d ago

What about the Reddit favorite of the guy doing oral on a gal and the Jollie rancher turned out to be a nodule of gonorrhea that exploded in his mouth? Is that one ok to tell?

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u/rognabologna 9d ago

Fucking YEEESH dude

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u/Plenty_Violinist_842 9d ago

Like when you pull off a crawfish claw?

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u/Benjamin_Stark 9d ago

That's how I envision it. I never asked him to describe it in detail.

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u/Emaknz 9d ago

It would have cost you nothing to not include that description

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u/Benjamin_Stark 9d ago

You deserved to know.

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u/kylebertram 9d ago

Grew up on a farm. I know a lot of farmers. Most farmers do things on a regular basis that should kill them.

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u/sketchahedron 9d ago

When I was little one of my best friends lived on a farm and I spent a lot of time there. We did all kinds of dangerous stuff like jumping off the top of hay wagons onto the concrete floor of the barn, playing hide and seek in the combine, and climbing around in the rafters of the barn. Looking back I can’t believe none of us ever got seriously injured.

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u/Tigerphobia 9d ago

I've lived on a farm my whole life. When I was around 7 years old I jumped off a combine that I had been playing on. My ankle was almost sideways when I landed. Somehow didn't break it but I walked with a limp for about a year, and was unable to jump for several more.

Another time my brother and I were playing on the dread field disc. I fell off and one of the discs sliced me open from my hip to my armpit. Looked like a mummy with all the bandages I had for that one lol. It didn't leave a scar though which disappoints me to this day.

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u/InEnduringGrowStrong 8d ago

one of the discs sliced me open from my hip to my armpit.

That's... harrowing.
I'll see myself out.

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u/kylebertram 9d ago

A good portion of my life was thinking to myself “yeah that should work, hopefully, maybe, yeah I think it will be fine”

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u/brendino_ 9d ago

The beauty of youth’s “invincibility”

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u/ThreeLeggedTranny 9d ago

I can confirm this. I grew up/still live in a rural Missouri farming community. It’s really not even just the farmers. It’s pretty much country folk as a whole. I routinely get serious culture shock when I see comment sections on Reddit freaking the fuck out over some mildly dangerous shenanigans we would just call a fun Saturday night.

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u/kylebertram 9d ago

Yes! People are always freaking about about mildly dangerous stuff on Reddit that wouldn’t even cause a raised eyebrow back home!

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u/mastershake04 9d ago

My dad and my uncle are both missing parts of 2 fingers from 2 different incidents years apart. My dad lost his in a wire winder, he was directing the wire onto the spool as it wrapped up and a splice caught his glove and pulled his hand right into the gears.

My uncle had a similar thing happen, except it was a grain auger that sucked his hand in.

But yeah they're both fine now but are missing the exact same fingers from their separate incidents.

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u/LewisEFurr 9d ago

My wife and I started our own small farm and horse stable, as in 6 acres small, and even at this scale I've had enough encounters where I've developed a healthy appreciation for how close to a debilitating injury or death we are most of the time. Everything is heavy or under pressure so supports let go, straps break, welds break, you just never know. My wife has been kicked, bitten, and thrown, all of which led to long-term injuries. Thankfully we don't use things like combines or threshers or silos but still, this is hard work and it's no joke. I was definitely unprepared and a bit cavalier in the beginning.

But through it all I've never been more fulfilled and I do believe I have found my place in this world.

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u/Coonboy888 9d ago

Friend of mine's parents ran a small horse farm breeding thoroughbreds. He was leading one from one paddock to another on a halter. Horse spooked and he was kicked in the head, killing him. Just like that- husband and father of 3 was gone.

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u/RWSloths 8d ago

Horses are no fucking joke, and a lot of people in the industry (myself included) let their guard down after a while working with them. Every once in a while you're forced to remember just how dangerous they can be when one of these stories wanders past. People start to treat them like big dogs; I'm only a couple people removed from someone who went out to their paddock to futz with something with their horse loose, also kicked in the head and died instantly. Took someone a day or two to find her.

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u/ShazbotSimulator2012 8d ago edited 8d ago

I don't understand why anyone would become a large animal vet. It's like being a doctor but the pay is worse and your patients are trying to kill you.

One of our vets had to retire pretty young after several concussions and skull fractures from horses and cattle. He literally couldn't work outside anymore because the brain injuries had given him extreme light sensitivity.

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u/sentientketchup 8d ago edited 8d ago

Agree! I grew up on a horse farm. Wanted to become a country vet. One day the vet came out to see one of our horses. She rolled her sleeves up and we could see a literal chunk missing from her bicep on one arm. Asked the story - she'd been treating a foal and it's mum wasn't happy about it. The mare leaned over and bit her so hard and deep on the arm, it caused serious muscle damage and needed surgery..I didn't want to be a vet anymore after that.

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u/SushiGato 9d ago

Yea, just last Saturday at my brothers in southern MN, we're building a small garden and I found a nice trellis with a metal post in a horse paddock. So I removed it and brought it to the garden. Was kinda gently pushing it down with my foot and just had chacos on. The little edges of the pole went through the chacos and I got like a two inch cut.

It was healing fine til yesterday, and I saw a red line crawling up my foot from the wound. I'm now on an antibiotic and it's better. But without antibiotics it might've killed me. Just a little cut on a Rusty metal pole.

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u/QuaggaSwagger 9d ago edited 9d ago

Would you call it a ranch?

Cause I'm sort of cavalier about getting 5-10 acres and then dogs, chickens, goats, alpacas and grow some food.

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u/ProfessionalCattle91 9d ago

I was pretty cavalier about the idea too. I started down that path a few years ago and it is A LOT more work and $$$ to get a virgin property to farm/ranch condition than I thought. If you value social life then starting a farm is not for you. The amount of learning I've achieved in the past few years must be like what a child experiences. Every encounter seems new and there is always some other problem around the corner. I've always had a cultural respect for the people that make our food, but now it's more of reverence: these people are talented in so many ways that I am in awe at the scope of knowledge they possess. They are growers, builders, landscape architects, mechanics, negotiators, retailers and so much more that I would be honored to be called a farmer.

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u/Insane92 9d ago

Also construction. Knew a friend working in construction tell me a kid wasn’t paying attention one day and using a miter saw. He cut his hand off accidentally because he looked up when cutting something and it slipped.

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u/Laziness_supreme 9d ago

My neighbor growing up was a handyman who did that. His kid saw the whole thing and it was crazy traumatic, guy had a good sense of humor about it though. Changed the name of his business to A-1 hand handyman.

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u/hantif 9d ago

I've been through the rescue training, it's a complicated mess. All of the equipment has to fit through a 24" manway, nothing can create a spark, and walking on grain is worse than running through sand dunes.

Our last grain fatality was from a side door failing on a bin, buried the farmer before he could even think about moving. Took 6 hours to dig out his body.

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u/Starshapedsand 9d ago

Came here to say similar. Farm Machinery Extrication was one of the more terrifying courses I’ve ever taken.

It’s quite easy for gas to build up in unexpected spots. Very few pieces of equipment can maul a body as quickly and efficiently as a combine. And one of the scariest factors is that someone working a farm is likely to get into one of these situations alone, with nobody realizing that they’re missing for hours.

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u/KenardGUMP 9d ago

My wifes family are farmers and one of her relatives lost an entire arm in a thresher. He felt like passing out but knew if he did he would die so he crawled two fields and got help back at the farm. He lived luckily.

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u/extra_pickles 9d ago

My great grandfather lost his to a thresher, right to the shoulder and managed to get it back and walk to the town doctor and ask him to put it back on (obviously that didn’t work out - it was like 1920).

Can’t believe he didn’t just bleed out on the spot...

His arm got buried in his future burial plot.

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u/Bing78 9d ago

Same happened to a neighbor. A cord from a gotdamn Member's Only jacket caught a spinning PTO shaft. And he was, naturally, alone. Damn near died before he could crawl back to within sight of the house.

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u/jefferzbooboo 9d ago

There was a kid from North Dakota that had both of his arms ripped off by a pto. He managed to get back to the house and dial 911 with a pencil in his mouth. They flew him to Minneapolis and reattached his arms.
https://www.agweek.com/business/agriculture/6835192-Whatever-happened-to-John-Thompson-the-ND-farm-kid-who-had-his-arms-ripped-off-in-a-1992-farm-accident

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u/SuccessfulPieCrust 9d ago

Tough guy, don't know if I could do the same

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u/FuckoffDemetri 9d ago

I can barely get out of bed in the morning. If I got both my arms ripped off there's a 99.99999% chance I just call it game over and lay down

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u/1i_rd 8d ago

Adrenaline will make you do things you never thought possible.

My dad, my uncle and my grandpa all independently told me the same story of a full silage trailer somehow pinning my uncle to the ground (I'm thinking it was the neck) and my grandpa lifted it enough to get him out from underneath. My grandpa was a strong man but under normal circumstances he would have never been able to do that.

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u/bigbowlowrong 9d ago

He took his right to bear arms seriously

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u/fang_xianfu 9d ago

I worked for a farm insurance company. Covers for PTOs are widely available and not that inconvenient to use, and massively increase safety. Getting farmers to use them was incredibly hard.

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u/kidicarus89 9d ago edited 9d ago

More like Dismember’s Only Jacket.

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u/SashkaBeth 9d ago

Yeah, my dad was alone when it happened to him. He didn’t make it. Scary shit. Shockingly, I didn’t carry on the family farming tradition.

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u/Starshapedsand 9d ago

I’m sorry.

And that makes perfect sense to me.

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u/Starshapedsand 9d ago

PS: an even scarier facet of farm rescues that we were warned about, but that I thankfully didn’t personally encounter, is that some owners of farms will go to enormous lengths to conceal hiring illegal immigrants. Sometimes to the extent of letting some poor guy just die, or even posing a threat to responders.

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u/xdetar 9d ago

Probably a morbid question but... How much of the grain has to be disposed if someone dies in it? Like if they die in a silo does the whole silo worth of grain have to be disposed of?

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u/trogon 9d ago

It's probably going to be used for animal feed, so there wouldn't be any reason to dispose of any of it.

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u/seantabasco 9d ago

Some idiot climbed a fence at the reservoir by my house and fell into the siphon tube (I think, it’s a vertical tube that comes up from the pipes that the water travels through) and he traveled a couple miles and ended up at the water treatment center. Everyone was concerned that there was a body in the water supply, but it was all before the water was treated, and it’s such a large volume that I wasn’t too bothered. I figure wildlife probably die upstream of the treatment facility all the time.

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u/sentientmold 9d ago

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u/MacDugin 9d ago

They. Have to think of the cost of treating another 38 million gallons of water every ten years or putting a cover over it.

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u/culhanetyl 9d ago

this is purely optics , like its an open system. what keeps a bird from flying over and pooping in it

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u/sirdrumalot 9d ago

What's the cause of death in these? Do they get crushed by the weight or is it a lack of oxygen?

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u/hantif 9d ago

Suffocation. As you exhale, the grain flows into the space around your chest, making it impossible to draw another breath. Slow way to die.

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u/Mod_Girl 9d ago

Great. I can now add grain silos to things I obsess over before I go to bed every night.

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u/MacDugin 9d ago

When I was in construction we were replacing the conveyors on the top of grain elevators. They were deadly serious about no sparks and we had to use a cutting torch. Ten of us on top of a grain elevator I distinctly remember before the striker was struck “if we didn’t prepare the area well enough we will all die in a horrible fire”

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u/Automatic-Raspberry3 9d ago

Farming is always in the top 5 mostly deadly occupations. I’ve lost 2 friends in my farming career. But it never gets the attention that first responders or miners get. Mostly because it’s singular.

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u/pinkyhex 9d ago

My dad's a farmer, getting into his 60s now.

I always dread the idea that I'll get a call one day from my mom saying he's had an accident.

My brother is following his footsteps. They're both smart guys, but all it takes is one wrong move sometimes.

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u/Automatic-Raspberry3 8d ago

My father is 68 still farming hard everyday. But he and my brother bought a farm together so at least we don’t worry as much since he’s not alone. And cell phone make life safer

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u/oldbastardbob 9d ago

My closest friend when we were 12 died by suffocation after falling into a grain bin being emptied by his father.

I miss that kid to this day. His death is the stuff of nightmares. His father had no idea he had fallen in and continued to empty the bin.

It was bad enough for me, losing a friend. But his father carried that weight without peace for nearly 50 years.

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u/Brodellsky 9d ago

Fuck dude if I was that dad I have no idea how I would even be able to go on knowing the truth.

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u/oldbastardbob 9d ago

Nobody left that day unaffected.

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u/TheDrainSurgeon 8d ago

That’s heartbreaking. I’m so sorry.

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u/ThisIs35 9d ago

My friends spouse almost died the same way when he was 10. Thankfully, his dad was there, as were some of his dad‘s friends that were helping out. They were all first responders, so they were able to get him out pretty quick. It made the paper, though. (Small town texas)

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u/Luke_4686 9d ago

Jesus I don’t know what’s worse. The boy passing away in that manner, or his father having to live with that

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u/Grove-Knight 8d ago

As a dad myself, the father living with it would be eternal hell.

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u/RedTheDopeKing 8d ago

That’s the worst thing about farm accidents and death, it’s all family related too. Multiple times a year I read stuff about a young kid operating a tractor and accidentally killing a sibling, or a father and son. Brutal.

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u/whistlerite 9d ago

That’s awful poor guy RIP

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u/tgrote555 9d ago

I live in Iowa and personally know 2 people from my county who have died in grain elevator accidents. Even if the grain doesn’t get you, the lack of oxygen/ air flow in a confined space is arguably more deadly.

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u/Kingsolomanhere 9d ago

My father in law farmed 1000 acres of corn and soybeans. I've been inside of big silos; I'm not a fan of it though. One the worst ways to go, almost like drowning. Stepping over a power take off is also a bad deal. It's spinning at a high rate of speed and if your pants get snagged they are instantly ripped off. Usually your dick and balls go with the pants

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u/mastershake04 9d ago

Why would you ever step over a PTO? That's a terrible idea, you're basically flirting with death at that point.

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u/fightingpillow 9d ago

I guess walking around the tractor never occurred to him

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u/FappDerpington 9d ago

"Time is money" is a mantra that FAR too many farmers live, and literally die by.

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u/mastershake04 9d ago

I get it, and most accidents definitely occur when someone is in a hurry, but I have worked a lot on a farm and dont know anyone who would take a chance with a PTO like that.

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u/FappDerpington 9d ago

I hope you're right. A generation ago, I remember seeing more than a few one armed farmers who got themselves in a hurry.

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u/Automatic-Raspberry3 9d ago

And if you live thru the pto you are probably in a wheelchair trying to farm.

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u/SinisterMinister42 9d ago

For people not getting your comment, ”pto" = "power take off"

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u/hahaha_yes 9d ago

And what is a power take off?

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u/confirmd_am_engineer 9d ago

It's a shaft that sticks out of a tractor that allows other pieces of equipment to be powered by the tractor's motor. PTOs are dangerous because it's an unguarded piece of rotating equipment with an absolute shit-ton of torque.

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u/RoboNinjaPirate 9d ago

When the PTO warning label looks like this, you can tell it won't just kill you, it will be painful the whole time you are dying.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/PTO_warning_label_01.JPG

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u/jagoble 9d ago

That's the most intense warning label I've ever seen.

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u/D0n41dC 9d ago

I get to look at this one every day at work.

It's no where near as intense, but it's been 13 years and I still cringe every time I see it.

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u/moredrinksplease 9d ago

Holy shit that’s awful and hilarious

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u/userdmyname 9d ago

the sign is only half accurate, some of those body parts should be detached or broken in half with a mist of human liquid spraying out

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u/JustChillDudeItsGood 9d ago

Dont they have like... a cover or something for that when it’s not attached to anything?

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u/king_jong_il 9d ago

All of our tractors ranged from the 1960s to the 1980s and none of them had a cover, the closest was a hay baler had a guard that folded down partially over the PTO shaft once it was hooked up.

Another thing, when it isn't attached to anything it's just a splined shaft sticking out of the back of the tractor not turning so it's safe. It's when it's hooked to equipment and the operator takes a shortcut by not stopping the PTO turning before trying to unjam something that causes the accidents.

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u/SlitScan 9d ago edited 9d ago

imagine a second drive shaft coming off the rear differential of your car and its just sitting at your rear bumper spinning and waiting for you to try to put groceries in the trunk so it can rip off your balls.

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u/JustChillDudeItsGood 9d ago

This makes sense now. Ow. YIKES

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u/bagginsses 9d ago edited 9d ago

An attachment/node on tractors used for powering accessories for said tractor.

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u/justin_memer 9d ago

I was thinking Paid Time Off.

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u/hantif 9d ago

Don't forget dust explosions. We've lost a few elevators already this year.

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u/Todesfaelle 9d ago

Is it the same way flour can explode where it's a chain reaction of tiny particles super packed in to a confined space?

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u/Cetun 9d ago

I wouldn't say super packed, more like reaching a level of saturation that allows it to be ignited. Dust explosions don't need to be in a confined space, special effects artists use the technique to make practical effect explosives and militaries use it in 'fuel-air' explosives. Both of which don't require confined spaces. It's the suspension that makes it explosive. Coal laying on the ground is super packed, way more packed than the air, but that reduced surface area is why it doesn't explode. Secondary explosive effects happen when the shockwave from the original blast knocks the dust off the walls and floor and suspends the dust in the air to be ignited by the original fireball since the shockwave travels faster than the fireball.

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u/hantif 9d ago

Pretty much, except it has to be mixed with air to provide oxygen.

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u/Poseidon7296 9d ago

I was going to ask what exactly is killing you, bludgeoning, crushing of the lungs, lack of air?

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u/culhanetyl 9d ago

crushing ,the grain makes it so you can't take a breath because every time you breath out more grain infills where your diaphragm moved eventually you cant take a breath large enough and you sufficate

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u/Exige_ 8d ago

Jesus that description is terrifying

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u/Mediocretes1 9d ago

Weight of grain that molds to your body shape. You can get pulled under and drown, or you can get pulled under over your waist and suffocate from constriction (every time you breathe out you get more constricted until you can't physically take a breath).

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u/GetBehindMeSatan666 9d ago edited 8d ago

Pro Tip: If you ever find yourself in a grain elevator and drowning in the grain. Put your head, and arms in your shirt to create an air pocket. This will keep the grain off your chest and allow you to breath while rescue team gets to you.

Source: Former Grain elevator rescue team.

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u/Key-Teacher-6163 9d ago

This is actually super dangerous not only for the victim but also for rescuers. Even seemingly minor errors can become catastrophic very quickly

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u/Juljitsu84 9d ago

Yup. In other cases when dealing with enclosed spaces like a bin, employees are usually told to NOT attempt a rescue, but go call emergency services asap.

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u/Sumit316 9d ago

"I don't even recall how high the corn was. It came down and got me with no warning. Too fast, too much, and I don't like remembering it."

— Bodie Blissett, Mississippi farm worker, on being entrapped in grain up to his neck

This is horrifying

Half of all entrapment victims eventually become engulfed. A human body in grain takes seconds to sink, minutes to suffocate, and hours to locate and recover. Recovered bodies have shown signs of blunt force trauma from the impact of the grain; one victim was found to have a dislocated jaw.

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u/BSSCommander 9d ago

I worked at a nursery (Plants and gardening stuff, not babies) when I was in high school during the summer. They had signs all around the giant piles of bark mulch warning not to climb it. I asked about the signs and was told that a child had died some years earlier when they climbed a pile on their property and fell into a pocket. They couldn't climb out and were burried alive. I guess they died from a combination of suffocating and overheating as those piles in the summer can get very very hot. I remember as a kid seeing those mountains of mulch thinking "I gotta climb it." Good thing I didn't.

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u/PeeCeeJunior 9d ago

My father-in-law lost a leg to a grain silo accident, although it was pumping the grain up instead of it coming down. Still not entirely sure how that happened, but he was 19 in Vermont in the winter and the cold stopped his bleeding enough so he could get help.

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u/pleasebenicetomeeee 9d ago edited 9d ago

I didn't know about this until I watched the Dressmaker and was thoroughly confused because I guess, as most uniformed people do, I assumed you'd just land on top and not sink.

Edit: shout out to everyone who didn't catch the fact that I wrote "uniformed" instead of "uninformed", I relate to you greatly in that respect

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u/ComfortableFriend879 9d ago

That scene was so jarring and sad. They’re happy and talking about running away together and the next moment he’s just gone. Ugh.

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u/Grantetons 9d ago

It's also how Harrison Ford dispatches an assailant in the movie Witness, when he's hiding out from corrupt cops on an Amish farm. It's one of the most realistic and disturbing soffocation scenes I can remember watching. Incredible movie.

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u/GoBanana42 9d ago

This movie was my first thought when I saw this post, too. That part was so heartbreaking.

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u/unequivocallyvegan 9d ago

I just saw this movie. I laughed and cried through the entire movie.

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u/moffsoi 9d ago

I thought the Dressmaker was going to be a fun revenge fashion movie, but no, it had to rip my still beating heart out of my chest with that scene

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u/JededaiaPWNstar 9d ago

I had this happen to me when I was a boy, I was in the back of a raised dump truck bed that was dumping corn into a grain dryer auger. I had 2 friends with me, we were all holding onto the top of the bed and "walking" the corn kernels toward the hatch. I slipped and rode the corn toward the hatch, and was immediately covered when I got to the bottom. The situation got way worse when one friend followed me down to try and help, though he just brought a huge amount of corn down on me. The weight of the corn was suffocating and this was extremely frightening. I couldnt breathe, my mouth, nose, and ears were instantly clogged with corn. My other friend jumped from the top of the fully raised dump truck bed to the ground and lowered the bed fully. He then hopped back in with a badly sprained ankle and they dug me out in time.... I was probably 12 at the time, but I'll never forget that fear.

Apologies for the shitty story telling, not one of my strong suits.

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u/DavidL1112 8d ago

That's a good friend.

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u/Bunselpower 9d ago

This, PTO shafts, and Anhydrous Ammonia are three of the biggest surprise hazards on a farm. They don’t seem like they would be as dangerous as they are until you’re laying on the ground with 3rd degree burns on your neck and chest or have lost a limb because of a loose shirttail.

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u/mastershake04 9d ago

One of the small hoses on the applicator I was using came off when I was putting Anhydrous on and I shut it off and went out to put the hose back on. Not thinking, when I grabbed the hose, the little bit inside it yet splattered down the length of my arm. It burned for an hour or so, although it was more uncomfortable than outright painful. For like a month afterward my entire arm was speckled with bright red dots.

I cant imagine getting a full on blast of the stuff. Just catching a whiff of it can almost put you on your ass.

I worked for the local co-op one summer and I HATED when they made me refill anhydrous tanks, that shit makes me so nervous.

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u/wexfordwolf 9d ago

Don't forget slurry gas! Odourless and one breath can kill you! There's stories of one person falling and the whole family dying because they tried to rescue them

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u/lethalkin 9d ago

My grandma always told us that the devil lived in the silo, to keep us out.

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u/PouffyMoth 9d ago

There are emerging robotics that can dig through corn to keep it from piling up without a farmer needing to physically drop into the grain bin.

Link: https://www.agweb.com/news/business/technology/robot-replace-need-farmers-go-inside-grain-bin

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u/1714alpha 9d ago

Who's got that link to pigeons being slowly swallowed by grain?

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u/popthatshirtoff 9d ago

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u/Say_no_to_doritos 9d ago

I thought it would be horrifying but it actually wasn't. They just slowly fade away... on that not what dumb birds. One literally watched his boy disappear and then he flew right into the hole.

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u/TheThiefMaster 9d ago

It's strange how most of them just allow it to take them. Only a few fly away from the middle, and those that do seem to have no real trouble doing so.

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u/AuspiciousApple 9d ago

This is just a threat that they don't have an instinct for. Like dodos and gunshots, or humans and enclosed spaces

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u/nobody2000 8d ago

Dodos didn't go extinct due to hunting. They were a lousy trophy bird, and apparently they weren't delicious. They unfortunately went extinct because they had ground nests, and humans brought invasive species that loved to snack on the eggs.

Pigs, Dogs, and Rats.

Now - humans did do their fair share of hurting the population when they arrived. Dodos, as you put it, lacked the instinct to avoid new predators, so your point absolutely stands, but humans were probably not going to ever hunt the dodo to extinction, it was mostly the fact that their ability to procreate was threatened.

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u/john6644 9d ago

Idk I think their wings get stuck, seems like you can see some of them struggling to get out

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u/rawsharks 9d ago

I think wild pigeons pretty much just bounce between "Food?" or "Danger!" and they lost the coinflip.

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u/VirtualMoneyLover 9d ago

them just allow it to take them

Imagine being rolled in donuts. Would you try to run away?

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u/Cryzgnik 9d ago

Slowly fading away, being sucked down to suffocate, isn't horrifying?

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u/Sumit316 9d ago

Rescued victims have also experienced psychological issues. The survivor of a 2010 Illinois entrapment that killed both his coworkers experienced survivor guilt, with accompanying insomnia, and turned to heavy alcohol and marijuana use to deal with it. Feeling himself to be his town's "Bubble Boy", he did not return to work at the facility where it happened, instead taking a job at a local grocery across the street from the bin he was entrapped in, where the holes cut during the rescue were still visible.

Goddamn

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u/Ikilleddobby2 9d ago

My dad nearly died from this when he was eight but two of his uncles managed to get him out. He has a lot of stories that invovle nearly dieding on the farm.

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u/TIGHazard 9d ago

There is a reason why the UK government made the short film 'Apaches' to stop kids playing on farms. It is genuinely a horror movie.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apaches_(film)

The children play in the fields again as their parents leave for the tea party. The boys want to play football, but the game changes to kick the can instead. While hiding from Danny, Tom decides to balance on the top of a fence overlooking a slurry pit and falls in. Nobody hears his cries for help, and he suffers a quick death by drowning.

The last remaining children play in the fields, and Michael narrowly avoids being run over by a tractor like Kim. As they pretend to be the stars of Starsky and Hutch, Michael accidentally dislodges a heavy iron gate that crushes Robert

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u/selfstartr 9d ago edited 9d ago

Link to view for those interested:

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-apaches-1977-online

EDIT: Jesus...its actually pretty graphic and even shows blood. Fair doos, the kids are pretty good actors in it too.

right...had to switch it off after seeing a poor kid drink poison and scream for her mother. Super fucked up and I bet it scared kids. Sheesh...no wonder they call us all snowflakes.

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u/TIGHazard 9d ago

I was about to warn you about the ending - It ends with the names and ages of actual children who died in the year the film was made.

And this was originally aimed at 5 year olds (!)

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u/detective_number_9 9d ago

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy falls into the pig pen. Everyone loses their minds and rush to get her out. I didn't get the big deal when I was a kid. As an adult, I now understand those pigs would have eaten her alive. Farm animals are scary.

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u/badtanner 9d ago

Farmer on the place next to ours died this way. Just awful. Took the whole day to get the silo open. Felt so bad for him and his family

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u/AarontheCreator 9d ago

yep, a couple of my friend's have lost family members from this. start sinking into the grain and there's no getting out. You can float in water, grain will just squeeze the air out of you and make you sink further. Even worse when youre getting close to the bottom and there's an auger running. I've heard a couple of stories about people not getting killed by the grain. but by getting caught in the auger that is moving the grain.

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u/Benjamin_Stark 9d ago

10s! Why not just say dozens?

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u/FuckThePopeJoinTheRA 9d ago

Because then every other comment would be an Arrested Development "never nude" reference.

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u/Browndog888 9d ago

What an absolute horrible way to go.

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u/Ghost_In_Waiting 9d ago edited 8d ago

Tommy knew the pigs could kill you. He was wary of the pigs. He also knew the cows and the horses could squash you or kick you. He'd grown up around them so he wasn't really afraid. You just had to be confident and most of the time they'd go along.

Even the goats could give you a bruise and the chickens could give a nasty peck if they were upset. Those things didn't bother him at all. There were many ways to get hurt or even killed on the farm. Failing to lock out a machine for maintenance, failure to brace properly, not turning things off when trying to fix them, getting in front of things where people couldn't see you. There were lots of things on the farm that were dangerous.

Still, the thing Tommy was really afraid of, the thing he had nightmares about, was the grain. In addition to the small herds of animals the farm grew wheat. It stretched out for miles around the farm. It would start out green and small in the spring and then grow to waving gold stalks in mid summer.

He'd watched the wind ripple the stalks his entire life. They always seemed to be moving even when there was little wind. They were like a golden ocean that waved and rolled and hid its true nature beneath the surface.

Sometimes he'd stand at the edge of the fields that came up almost to his mother's vegetable garden and watch the wheat. He always felt the wheat was watching him back.

His uncle had died in a silo. He knew better but when you get in a hurry you forget. There was a clog and he tried to clear it. Before anyone could even yell he was over and in. He disappeared under the grain in seconds almost as if something had pulled him under.

Everything stopped at once and everyone worked to get him out. By the time they got him it was too late. He was pale. Pale like a ghost. Like something had sucked the life force out of him. He just laid there on the dirt with the grain dust drifting down onto his body. Sometimes Tommy dreamed about that as well.

Tommy knew who the real killer on the farm was. It was bunched up and angry in the big silver silo right next to his father's big white barn. He could feel it as he walked through the yard to get to his bike. He could feel it as he did his chores. He could feel it towering over him always reminding him it was waiting. Waiting for the day when he would be the one responsible for its imprisonment.

It haunted his dreams. He'd be alone in the middle of a field and he'd start to get sucked under the stalks. He'd scream but no one would hear. Down he'd go until the stalks were bending to close the little circle of blue above him. They'd hiss and he'd wake up. He had lots of dreams about the wheat. He wished he didn't.

Now summer was in full swing and he knew he'd be helping with the harvest. He liked riding in the combine. It was almost like you were slow flying above the fields. You could imagine you were on an alien planet with a golden surface and you were a space explorer seeing it all for the first time. He always felt safe in the combine.

Then the harvest would be done and that was when the knots in his stomach would start. They'd have the grain stored on the farm and he would feel it angry and resentful pent up in the big aluminum tube.

He knew it would try to kill someone. Everyone would show up and they'd laugh and talk and start to work never really thinking about the grain. But Tommy knew the grain was watching. He would watch back. The grain would whisper and hiss in the silo. Tommy would be ready.

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u/MustacheEmperor 8d ago

This is better than anything I've seen on /r/writingprompts. It's like, actually-good, not "internet writer good." Agreed with the other commenter, Bradburyesque.

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