Grain Cooperative Busted for Failing to Protect Workers Loading Rail Cars from Falls

The citation follows an investigation in September, prompted by a complaint, which determined employees were working on top of rail cars without fall protection while preparing the cars for loading of corn and soybeans.

OSHA has cited Landmark Services Cooperative, a Wisconsin grain cooperative, with one willful safety violation for failing to protect workers from falls while they were loading grain products into rail cars at its Evansville, Wis., facility. Proposed fines total $70,000.

"Failing to protect employees from falls while loading rail cars is a clear violation of OSHA's fall protection standards and demonstrates a disregard for worker safety," said Kim Stille, the agency's area director in Madison. "Employers have a responsibility to ensure that workers have proper safety protection, and work environments are healthful and safe."

The citation follows an investigation in September, prompted by a complaint, which determined employees were working on top of rail cars without fall protection while preparing the cars for loading of corn and soybeans.

In 2010, OSHA developed a local emphasis program targets grain handling facilities after repeated safety violations were cited in the industry. The program covers hazards associated with grain engulfment, machine guarding, lockout/tagout of dangerous equipment to prevent accidental energization start-up, electricity, falls, employee training, and combustible dust hazards.

Landmark Services Cooperative is a member-owned wholesale grain cooperative. The company is headquartered in Cottage Grove and operates multiple divisions at 20 facilities in south central Wisconsin. Prior to this investigation, the company had been inspected by OSHA a total of three times since 2006.

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