Grain Bin Maker Fined $142,400 for Plethora of Serious Safety Violations

The company was cited for one willful, one repeat, 20 serious, and one-other-than serious violation, following a combined safety and health inspection at the company's facility.

OSHA has cited Bushnell Illinois Tank Co., doing business as Schuld/Bushnell in Valley, Neb., for one willful, one repeat, 20 serious, and one-other-than serious violation, following a combined safety and health inspection at the company's facility. Proposed penalties total $142,400.

OSHA's inspections of Schuld/Bushnell, which manufactures metal grain bins, were initiated in January under the agency's Local Emphasis Program for Powered Industrial Trucks and Other Material or Personnel Handling Motorized Equipment in Construction and General Industry.

"OSHA has a stringent confined space standard because employees entering and exiting a confined space could be exposed to serious hazards, including entrapment, engulfment, and dangerous atmospheric conditions," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "It is imperative that employers rigorously monitor and minimize the hazards of dangerous environments such as confined spaces, and that they provide an overall safe and healthful workplace for employees."

The willful violation involves allowing employees to work in permit-required confined spaces without having first written and implemented a confined space program.

The repeat violation is similar to an electrical violation cited in October 2006 for improper use of a flexible cord at the company's facility in Bushnell, Ill.

The serious violations include misusing and overloading an under-hung hoist; using a damaged fiberglass ladder; exposing employees to falls of more than 4 feet; failing to properly train and document training of workers who operate industrial trucks; overloading an industrial truck; failing to inspect and remove damaged slings from service; using damaged slings to lift heavy objects; failing to guard a power-transmitting belt and pulley; exposing workers to more than 85 decibels of noise without a hearing conservation program; spray painting within 20 feet of spark-producing equipment; allowing voluntary respirator use without the required elements of a respirator program and without proper training; and allowing workers to enter a permit-required confined space without identifying hazards, providing proper training and equipment, testing atmospheric conditions and providing an attendant at all times. Electrical violations include exposing workers to shocks through a missing stop button in a control box, using an electrical cord without a ground plug and using an outlet box without a cover. Additionally, the employer failed to maintain material safety data sheets and train workers who use or store hazardous chemicals.

The other-than-serious violation involves failing to properly record injuries and illnesses on OSHA's 300 log.

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