OSHA Fines Commodities Firm $228K After Grain Bin Death

March 2, 2020

4 Min Read
OSHA Fines Commodities Firm $228K After Grain Bin Death
OSHA fined Interstate Commodities $228,592 after a worker died at the firm's Fremont, NE facility. Image courtesy of Pixabay

Troy, NY-based grain and feed logistics and marketing firm Interstate Commodities Inc. was cited for grain handling violations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and issued a fine of $228,592 after a worker died in a fatal grain engulfment incident at the firm’s Fremont, NE facility. 

A DOL release announced Friday that the agency determined the company violated grain handling standards by allowing the worker to enter the grain bin without a harness and lifeline. Interstate Commodities received citations for seven repeat and 10 serious safety and health violations, including hazards associated with grain handling, falls, respiratory protection, powered industrial trucks and electrical safety.

“Grain industry employers are legally required to train workers and provide them with appropriate rescue equipment prior to entering a grain bin,” OSHA Omaha Area Director Matt Thurlby said in a statement. “Tragedies such as this can be prevented when safety procedures and hazard control measures are implemented.”

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Interstate Commodities was also placed into OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Powder & Bulk Solids reported in September 2019 that a 32-year-old man died at Interstate Commodities’ Fremont facility after becoming trapped in a grain bin. Officials said in a report by CBS News affiliate KMTV that the bin was holding some 10,000 bushels of grain at the time of the death.  

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