GRANT PARK, IL — After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Farmers Elevator Co. – based in Manteno, IL, was cited $205,106 and placed on the Severe Violator Enforcement Program for failing to provide safety protections to its employees. A worker suffered fatal injuries after falling into a grain bin at its Grant Park facility.
OSHA cited the Farmers Elevator for two willful and three serious violations. The agency found that the grain operator allowed employees to enter a grain bin by using a ladder with rungs spaced greater than 14 inches apart and without a body harness and lifeline; failed to provide rescue equipment; and exposed employees to engulfment hazards while walking down grain. OSHA also cited the company for failure to disconnect or lockout equipment, test atmospheric conditions and post an observer prior to allowing employees to enter the storage bin.
“This employer failed to provide well-known safety protections to its workers and the result was tragic,” said OSHA Chicago South Acting Area Director Ken Montgomery. “Employers are required to provide personal protective equipment and train workers in their use.”
OSHA’s Grain Handling webpage offers extensive resources for assessing hazards associated with grain facilities.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.