Regulator warns of silo danger after a farmer was crushed
THE Queensland Office of Industrial relations has warned against using portable grain silos after one collapsed on a farmer near Goondiwindi.
An investigation into the accident found the silo's support frame buckled under the weight of its contents, causing the silo to fall, on May 25.
"The impact with the ground caused the skin of the silo to tear away from the silo base, spilling grain onto the ground," the statement said.
The farmer was buried up to his neck for about an hour.
"In addition to being severely injured, there was also a risk of the farmer being engulfed in the grain as it emptied from the ruptured silo," the statement said.
The LifeFlight aeromedical crew transported the farmer, aged in his 50s, to the Princess Alexandra Hospital where he was treated for serious leg, arm, pelvis and abdominal injuries.
The office highlighted several risks with portable silos.
It found they tended to be lightweight so they could be easily moved, but this also reduce the strength of their support frame and casing.
The office recommended farms and businesses that use portable silo regularly check the framework for damage.
This was especially important if they hold corrosive material, like some fertilisers, or are in a moist environment and prone to rust.
It also recommended they are only placed on firm, even ground or ideally on cement.
"Silos with damaged support frames should be isolated," the statement said.
"Repairs to damaged support frames should not be carried out unless the silo is empty, as the repair procedure can increase the risk of failure."