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Grain bin workers exposed to sweep augers

December 11, 2012
KEYWORDS bins / cpi-lansing / grain / hazards
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silosA company in Nebraska that allowed workers to enter grain bins while sweep augers were operating has been cited by OSHA for three safety violations.

CPI-Lansing LLC, a grain storage facility in Red Cloud, was inspected in May under OSHA’s grain handling local emphasis program. Proposed penalties total $144,400.

"CPI-Lansing allowed workers to enter grain bins to loosen or sweep grain into the operating sweep auger. This is a dangerous practice that has been associated with serious injury and death," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo.

Two willful violations address hazards associated with failing to lock out the energy sources of mechanical equipment during bin entry and to ensure workers are using a body harness and lanyard while working in grain bins and provide rescue equipment for workers entering bins. The serious violation involves hazards associated with the use of a deficient handrail on a stairway.

OSHA's grain bin local emphasis program addresses specific recognized hazards in grain handling, such as falls, electrocution, engulfment, auger entanglement, "struck by" dangers and combustible dust explosions. More safety and health information on grain handling facilities is available at www.osha.gov/SLTC/grainhandling/index.html.

The CPI-Lansing facility provides storage and drying of grains, such as corn, beans and milo, and is a subsidiary of Cooperative Producers Inc., which is based in Hastings. The company operates 40 grain-handling facilities around the state. 

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