WSRS Episode 5 – Silo Edge of the Real World

Kevin sits down with Samuel Goldberg, the producer of the film Silo, Dennis Hildebrandt VP of Turtle Plastics and Liz Demetriou President of Turtle Plastics. They discuss the prevalence of silos within the farming culture, silo accidents, training, and what can be done to reduce these disasters.

Silo is a film about the danger of grain entrapment. Grain entrapment occurs when a person standing on a pile of grain becomes submerged. Most often grain entrapment occurs in silos. The grain in these silos can sometimes clump up and create a structure that supports the grain above it. When the grain is drained the clumpy structure becomes a bridge at the top of the silo, leaving an empty space in the core. When a worker disrupts this structure, it collapses. This sudden change can pull a person down surrounding them by grain.

It might not seem like much but being submerged in grain is incredibly dangerous. The weight and impact of the grain can be lethal. If a person survives the initial impact, they will immediately begin to suffocate. Most workplace accidents in the U.S have been on a decline except for grain-entrapments, which had an annual high as recently at 2010. Alarmingly most grain-entrapment deaths are by minors.

Most silos are found on farms in rural areas, which makes it difficult for experienced rescuers to arrive on time. When rescuers arrive, they need to be cautious about making the situation worse. Agitating the grains could cause the trapped person to sink further down. A person that is only partly submerged is still at risk of spinal injury from being pulled out.

The best way to lower the danger of grain entrapment is to prevent it from ever happening. Grain typically clumps up when it is spoiled, simply reducing spoilage will decrease the chance of grain entrapment. The other strategy is to create stricter policies when workers break up these clumps and requiring the rescue equipment to be nearby.

To find out more about Silo visit