A Nebraska grain-handling cooperative failed to protect workers from engulfment hazards and entrapment in a grain bin.
This past May OSHA investigators went to the Farmers Cooperative site where a worker had been partly trapped in a grain bin. He had entered the bin while the auger was still running to clear out soybean clumps when the grain shifted and knocked him off his feet. The worker was engulfed up to his chest and had to be rescued.
They received two willful citations, one repeat citation and four serious safety violations. They are facing fines of $373,911 and are in the administration’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
OSHA Regional Administrator in Kansas City, Kimberly Stille, says that it’s common knowledge that workers should try to avoid entering storage bins as much as possible- particularly when the auger is still running. This was a very dangerous situation, and the company had been cited before for a similar violation at another facility where they were cited for failing to properly train workers on bin entry.
Read the OSHA news release here.