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.”