five short, wide, grey silos

OSHA Proposes Over $500K in Penalties for Nebraska Company After Worker Asphyxiation

The grain-handling company was also issued citations for 16 violations—including two willful—following the September 2022 incident.

A Nebraska grain-handling company is facing citations for 16 violations along with more than $500,000 in proposed penalties after the death of a worker.

Last September, a 34-year-old worker who had been cleaning out a corn silo suffocated when the corn engulfed him, according to a news release.

OSHA discovered that the worker was using inadequate PPE for the setting and did not have “an adequate body harness and lifeline that co-workers could have used to rescue him,” the agency said.

Per OSHA, CHS Inc., which does business as Agri-Service Center Roseland, was cited for “allowing workers to enter bins with grain build-up” as well as “failing to:”

  • “develop procedures for entering permit-required confined spaces,
  • ensure emergency services were available,
  • recognize and evaluate hazards and train workers and
  • implement machine safety procedures to prevent grain bin equipment from running while workers were inside bins.”

In total, Agri-Service Center Roseland faces citations for two willful and 14 serious violations along with $531,268 in proposed penalties. Besides receiving citations, the company was also placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

"The dangers of working inside grain bins are well-known and safety standards have been in place for decades. Despite our continued outreach and enforcement activity in this highly hazardous industry, we continue to see preventable fatalities," said OSHA Area Director Matthew Thurlby in Omaha, Nebraska, in the news release.

"Agri-Service Center Roseland should know that safety standards and proper training, procedures, and equipment can make the difference between life and death. Expediency should never be put ahead of worker safety,” Thurlby continued.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

Industrial Hygiene Product Showcase

  • Ventis® Pro5

    Ventis® Pro5

    The Ventis Pro5 is the most flexible connected gas monitor on the market, giving you the power to protect workers from up to five gases, manage worker safety from remote locations, and simplify team communication to take the guesswork out of gas detection. It automatically shares real-time gas readings, man-down, and panic alarms between peers – meaning the entire team knows who is in danger and why. By sharing real-time data, workers can also maintain continuous communication without the need for additional infrastructure or devices. Visit us at AIHce booth #927 to learn more! 3

  • Combustible Dust Testing & Process Consulting

    Combustible Dust Testing & Process Consulting

    Industrial Hygiene hazards should include potential combustibility hazards. Our labs provide testing for combustible dust, vapor and chemical reaction hazards. Fauske & Associates uses testing data to solve process safety issues and mitigate potential accidents in the chemical and nuclear industries. Custom solutions include site assessments, testing, engineering, consulting and training. 3

  • BAND V2

    BAND V2

    SlateSafety’s BAND V2 is the most rugged, easy-to-use connected safety wearable to help prevent heat stress incidents in the workplace. No additional hardware is needed to monitor large teams performing tough jobs across vast worksites. This physiological monitor worn on the upper-arm measures biometric data and sends real-time safety alerts when customized thresholds are met. BAND V2 includes a wide range of functionality such as worker physiological monitoring, real-time location status, automated work/rest cycles and more. Organizations can keep larger workforces safe with real-time, secure and transparent data. Stop by booth #408 at AIHce for a live demonstration! 3