Worker Caught in Grain Bin Auger, S.D. Firm Fined $95,920

A worker at a grain handling facility was caught in a moving bin sweep auger and suffered severe injuries to his leg and arm.

OSHA has issued LaBolt Farmers Grain Company Inc. in LaBolt, S.D., 13 citations for exposing workers to unsafe conditions at its grain handling facility where a worker was caught in a moving bin sweep auger and suffered severe injuries to his leg and arm. Proposed penalties total $95,920.

"Despite awareness of the hazardous nature of grain bin entries and of the means and methods to prevent such hazards, the employer failed to develop and enforce recognized safe work practices," said Tom Deutscher, OSHA's area director in Bismarck.

OSHA issued LaBolt four willful, six repeat, and three serious citations. The willful citations address the alleged failure of the employer to develop and implement a written confined space program, ensure all equipment that presents a danger is neutralized, complete confined space and grain bin entry permits, and provide a competent person as an entrance observer.

The six repeat citations address the alleged failure to effectively guard floor openings, pulleys, and vertical belts; control fugitive grain dust accumulations; develop a written housekeeping program; and utilize approved electrical equipment. Similar violations were cited in February 2008.

The alleged serious violations address the failure to provide effective training for workers entering confined spaces and grain bins, provide training for employees assigned special tasks, and perform atmospheric testing.

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