A company faces a fine of more than $500,000 over the death of a man who suffocated in a corn silo.
CHS Inc, operating as Agri-Service Center Roseland, has been found guilty of disregarding federal regulations put in place to stop such incidents.
It was also found the worker’s protective equipment was not adequate for protection.
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The worker died on the site after the incident in September 2022.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OHSA) investigation also found the company failed to equip the employee with an adequate body harness and lifeline that co-workers could have used to rescue him.
Inspectors discovered the company kept a retractable lifeline tripod on-site, a device not designed for side entry onto grain, and had no adequate alternative method available to protect workers in silos.
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OSHA Area Director Matthew Thurlby in Omaha, Nebraska, said: “The dangers of working inside grain bins are well-known and safety standards have been in place for decades. Despite our continued outreach and enforcement activity in this highly hazardous industry, we continue to see preventable fatalities.
“Agri-Service Center Roseland should know that safety standards and proper training, procedures, and equipment can make the difference between life and death. Expediency should never be put ahead of worker safety.”
OSHA issued fines for 16 violations – two willful and 14 serious – allowing staff enter bins with grain build-up, and for failing to develop procedures for entering permit-required confined spaces, ensure emergency services were available, recognize and evaluate hazards and train workers, and implement machine safety procedures to prevent grain bin equipment from running while workers were inside bins.
The company now faces fines of $531,268.
It has also been added to the OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
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