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Blog Posted in avatar   Tim O'Brien's Blog

Detasseling Accident Still On Minds Of Area Residents

By Tim O'Brien
Posted Aug 2, 2011 in Environment
OSHA INVESTIGATING AS IS THE WHITESIDE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: The mourning continues for two girls who were laid to rest after being electrocuted in a cornfield near Tampico, Illinois, July 25, but questions still remain as to the reason it happened.
Jade Garza and Hannah Kendall are at rest, but the accident is still on the minds of many in the area.
The field was contracted to Monsanto, which, according to Forbes, is one of the top innovation companies.
That's right. On Wednesday, July 27, just two days after this incident, Forbes named them one of the Top 10 in this class - in the world.
The article from Forbes states: The magazine said the rankings are calculated using an “innovation premium,” which measures the difference between the value of the company’s existing businesses and its expected future innovations.
Meanwhile, Monsanto is one of the largest public companies in St. Louis with $10.5 billion in annual revenue.
Then, why was a farm irrigator left in the field after being struck by lightning that Sunday before the accident?
However, on the surface, one cannot look at the company as a major reason why the accident happened, but rather the circumstances which included heavy rain, a potential lightning strike (which was confirmed as happening), and a faulty irrigation system in general. OSHA has yet to give any more indications. And if it happens that lightning" may have" been a factor, why were the crews cent into the field the next day?
And furthermore, it has been learned that the Whiteside County Sheriff's Department is also investigation the incident.
Perhaps that was fueled by the abundance of local reaction and rumor surround the tragedy.
A spokesman for Monsanto says the company is working with OSHA. With that comes the disclosure that noted they were not sure if waivers were signed by detasselers in case of such an accident. The disclosure also brought up CPR and if anybody was trained in it, meaning the supervisors, or crew leaders.
In the backdrop of many summer vacations in the Midwest, it's very common for junior and high school kids to take the fields for this type of work. If not the corn fields, it would be the bean fields.
For one, it's a job that pays. Another, it seems as if it was a rite of sorts to at least attempt this occupation, even if you do not get through a week. These fields in which the two young girls died, is near the hometown of President Ronald Reagan, Tampico. He himself knew the how tough field work was and how the land is something many here in the Midwest thrive on to make a living.