Worker's Grain Engulfment Carries $185,600 Penalty

OSHA opened an inspection following the death of a worker who suffocated when engulfed in grain that he was walking on in a bin that had a running auger.

OSHA has cited DL Cattle Trading LLC Co. for two willful, nine serious, and one other-than-serious alleged safety violation at the company's cattle feed lot and farming operation in Parks, Neb. OSHA opened an inspection following the death of a worker who suffocated when engulfed in grain that he was walking on in a bin that had a running auger. Proposed penalties in this case total $185,600.

"OSHA has found that deaths in grain bins and elevators generally occur because of employer negligence, failure to comply with OSHA standards, or poor safety and health practices," said Charles E. Adkins, the agency's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "All employers, especially those in high-hazard sectors such as the grain industry, must take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace."

The willful violations were cited for exposing employees to confined space hazards without having emergency rescue or medical care immediately available, as well as for allowing workers to stand on flowing grain without isolating power to the auger.

The serious violations address electrical hazards as well as those associated with a lack of fall protection, compressed gas cylinder storage, machine and power transmission guarding, confined spaces, and lockout/tagout of energy sources.

The other-than-serious violation was cited for not reporting the fatality within eight hours. The worker died on March 1, but the company did not report the death until March 14.

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