US Department of Labor Cites North Dakota Grain Facility, Columbia Grain International After Employee Fatality

ARVILLA, ND (STL.News) The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Columbia Grain International (CGI) LLC for willfully exposing workers to grain-handling hazards after the fatal engulfment of an employee at the company’s Arvilla, North Dakota, storage facility.  The company faces $190,000 in proposed penalties.

OSHA inspectors determined that CGI failed to follow OSHA standards during grain bin entry and cleaning operations.  OSHA issued a willful citation for allowing employees to “walk the grain” and for not preventing contact with operating machine parts by locking out the bin’s conveyor system.  Violations related to walking/working surfaces, ladder use, machine guarding, bin entry procedures and bin rescue procedures resulted in serious citations.

“This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had simply followed well-known safety procedures,” said OSHA Area Director Scott Overson in Bismarck, North Dakota.  “Instead, they exposed employees to dangerous hazards that resulted in the loss of life.”