OSHA warns of grain entrapment dangers

Morral, OH – The number of grain entrapments is increasing, and employers must follow safety and health regulations to prevent worker deaths, OSHA administrator David Michaels said March 16.

Michaels made the comments in a press release announcing that Omaha, NE-based Gavilon Grain LLC has been cited for 46 violations and fined $465,500 following an investigation into the September death of a 20-year-old employee.

“This tragic death could have been prevented had the grain bin owner and operators followed occupational safety standards and learned from the tragedies that have occurred at other grain bins,” Michaels said.

The citations against Gavilon came from three Ohio facilities. Investigations into two of the facilities were prompted by violations found at the Morral facility, where the worker died.

OSHA cited a Purdue University report (.pdf file) showing that 2010 had 26 grain entrapment fatalities and the most incidents since the university began collecting data in 1978.

OSHA’s Region 5 – which covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin – launched a grain safety Local Emphasis Program in August that OSHA said has resulted in more than 60 inspections and 200 citations.

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