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OSHA Fines Grain Facility $190K After Fatal Engulfment

January 7, 2020

2 Min Read
OSHA Fines Grain Facility $190K After Fatal Engulfment

A North Dakota grain storage facility is facing a $190,000 fine from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for grain handling hazards, the agency announced on January 3. An investigation was opened after a worker died in an engulfment at the site. 

OSHA issued a number of citations after an investigation of Columbia Grain International’s (CGI) Arvilla, ND grain facility. The agency found the firm did not adhere to OSHA standards on grain bin entry and cleaning operations. A willful citation was issued for permitting workers to “walk the grain” and for failing to lock out the bin’s conveyor system to protect workers from operating machine parts. OSHA also identified several serious citations linked to walking/working surfaces, ladder use, machine guarding, bin entry procedures, and bin rescue procedures. 

“This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had simply followed well-known safety procedures,” OSHA Area Director Scott Overson in Bismarck, ND said in an agency press release.

CGI has 15 business days after receiving the citations to comply, request an informal conference with an OSHA area director, or challenge the agency’s findings before an independent board. 

Based in Portland, OR, Columbia Grain supplies grain and pulses in the U.S. and export markets, according to the firm’s website

OSHA, the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS), the Grain Handling Safety Coalition, and the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) are partnering in a national outreach program, Stand Up for Grain Safety Week, this April. The organizations will provide resources and education during the event. 

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