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Missouri Grain Handling Company Fined $42k by OSHA

A Missouri grain handling company faces $42,000 in proposed fines after 13 safety violation citations were issued the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency announced Monday by press release.

First Missouri Terminals Inc., operating as Midwest Grain & Barge Company Inc., was issued 11 serious and two “other-than-serious” violations on May 19 after OSHA’s St. Louis area office investigated a complaint in March alleging that workers were exposed to a variety of grain-handling hazards.

“Grain handling can be a hazardous operation. The ever present risks of suffocation, amputation, being crushed, falling, or explosion can be dangerous and, in worst cases, deadly,” said Bill McDonald, OSHA’s St. Louis area director. “OSHA’s grain-handling standards address the hazards found in grain bins. These common sense safety standards exist to protect workers on the job in this hazardous industry. It’s up to employers to do the right thing and follow them.”

The inspectors cited the Cape Girardeau, MO-based company for:

  • A lack of confined space entry procedures for grain bins, including testing the atmosphere, issuing permits, monitoring workers, and training.
  • An absence of annual safe grain handling procedures for employees.
  • No equipment or training provided for grain rescue operations.
  • Exposure to fall hazards from floor openings, and platforms without guardrails and open-sided work platforms.
  • Failure to train workers on safe handling and use of hazardous chemicals in the facility.
  • Not evaluating personal protective equipment needs.
  • Not powering down equipment, or locking equipment out, to prevent unintentional operation when workers enter grain bins.
  • Disorderly and unclean store rooms, service rooms, and passageways.
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