OSHA Cites Company For Exposing Workers To Machine Hazards

                               Hastings, NE (CompNewsNetwork) - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited AGP Grain Marketing LLC in Hastings for exposing workers to machine guarding and fall hazards, as well as other safety and health hazards. OSHA has proposed $64,000 in penalties against the company.

OSHA's investigation, which began in December 2010, resulted in the issuance of seven serious and one repeat citation. OSHA's inspection was initiated under a local emphasis program that targets grain handling establishments in Nebraska.

"The hazards associated with grain handling operations are well recognized," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "All employers, and especially those in high-hazard industries such as the grain industry, must take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace."

Some of the serious citations include a spiral stairway being used as the primary means of access to levels in the grain elevator that was not equipped with standard railings; a fixed ladder that did not have clearance on its climbing side and did not have side rails that extended above the landing surface; a lack of a written respiratory program and annual employee fit-testing; and a lack of guarding on belts and pulleys. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which an employer knew or should have known.

The repeat citation is similar to one issued against the same company on March 18, 2009, for failing to inspect energy control procedures. OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

AGP Grain Marketing LLC 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. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Omaha Area Office; telephone 402-553-0174. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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