Welcome to the Agricultural Safety & Health Research Lab

Research Topics

  • Grain Safety: Grain entrapment is an agricultural injury in which a person enters a grain bin or silo to dislodge a blockage caused by out-of-condition grain and then becomes partially entrapped or fully entrapped in the grain. An entrapment in which the victim is completely under grain is known as engulfment. Every year in the United States, roughly 30 grain entrapments occur with on average about 50% of the people who become entrapped dying. Recently, Illinois has had the largest number of grain entrapments in the US with 10 in 2020 and another 5 in 2021. These 15 cases represent approximately one quarter of all cases reported in 2021-2022 by Purdue University’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program.  To tackle this issue we have two on-going research topics:
    • We studying the effectiveness of using high pressure air to break up the grain clumps near the center hole and allow the grain to flow without having someone enter the grain bin.
    • We are developing machine learning models to predict when and where do grain entrapments occur in Illinois to improve our messaging and educational programs.
    • We offer an array of training programs in coordination with Grain Handling Safety Council (grainsafety.org)
  • Autonomous Machinery Safety: Autonomous agriculture is expected to change the way we farm our lands. It will help us increase our yields and efficiency while decreasing our inputs and labor. New technology comes with new challenges, safety, and health concerns for farmworkers. Program areas include:
    • SAFER AG Workshop: A major industry-academia event hosted every other year at University of Illinois to discuss safety concerns for autonomous system adoption in agriculture.

Reach out to our team by contacting Dr. Salah Issa; salah01@illinois.edu.