OSHA Fines Illinois Grain Firm $205K After Worker Dies

June 8, 2020

2 Min Read
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OSHA opened an investigation into an Illinois grain elevator after a worker died in a grain bin.Image courtesy of Pixbay

Grain firm Farmers Elevator Co. of Manteno received citations for two willful and three serious violations and a fine of $205,106 from the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after a worker died at its Grant Park, IL elevator. 

The worker was fatally injured at the site after falling into a grain bin. OSHA inspectors determined that the company permitted employees to enter a grain bin using a ladder with rungs spaced greater than 14” apart and without a body harness and lifeline. Farmers Elevator also neglected to provide rescue equipment and exposed workers to engulfment hazards while walking down grain.

The agency also received citations for failing to disconnect or lockout equipment, test atmospheric conditions, and post an observer prior to letting workers enter the storage bin. 

“This employer failed to provide well-known safety protections to its workers and the result was tragic,” OSHA Chicago South Acting Area Director Ken Montgomery said in a statement. “Employers are required to provide personal protective equipment and train workers in their use.”

In addition to the citations, Farmers Elevator was placed into OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. 

The company has 15 business days after receiving the citations to comply, challenge the findings before an independent panel, or request an informal conference with an OSHA area director. 

Last week, Powder & Bulk Solids reported that OSHA fined another Illinois grain facility operated by Minooka Grain, Lumber & Supply Co. $69,010 for violating grain handling safety regulations at its grain facility. OSHA opened an investigation after a worker was engulfed in a grain storage bin at the Minooka, IL site while working to clear clumps. 

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