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NE Grain Storage Facility Exposes Workers to Well-Known Industry Hazards

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Red Cloud, NE (WorkersCompensation.com) - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited CPI-Lansing LLC, a grain storage facility in Red Cloud, with three safety violations-including two willful-for allowing workers to enter grain bins while sweep augers were operating. OSHA initiated the complaint inspection in May under the agency's grain handling local emphasis program. Proposed penalties total $144,400.

"CPI-Lansing allowed workers to enter grain bins to loosen or sweep grain into the operating sweep auger. This is a dangerous practice that has been associated with serious injury and death," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "Hazards associated with grain handling are well-recognized within the grain industry, and OSHA regulations must be followed to keep workers safe."

Two willful violations address hazards associated with failing to lock out the energy sources of mechanical equipment during bin entry and to ensure workers are using a body harness and lanyard while working in grain bins and provide rescue equipment for workers entering bins. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The serious violation involves hazards associated with the use of a deficient handrail on a stairway. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

OSHA's grain bin local emphasis program addresses specific recognized hazards in grain handling, such as falls, electrocution, engulfment, auger entanglement, "struck by" dangers and combustible dust explosions. For more safety and health information on grain handling facilities, visit http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/grainhandling/index.html.

The CPI-Lansing facility provides storage and drying of grains, such as corn, beans and milo, and is a subsidiary of Cooperative Producers Inc., which is based in Hastings. The company operates 40 grain-handling facilities around the state. Citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/CPILansing_474038_1129_12.pdf.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Omaha, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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