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Ag coop wracks up 100+ OSHA citations

January 31, 2012
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Grain elevatorsOSHA has cited an agricultural co-op with five safety violations, including one willful violation for failing to de-energize and lock out sweep augers before workers entered grain bins. OSHA initiated an investigation in August under its local emphasis program for grain handling facilities. Proposed fines total $84,000.

The Frontier FS grain handling facility cited in Ixonia is operated by Growmark Growmark is a cooperative agricultural organization based in Bloomington, Ill., with operations spanning 30 states and Ontario, Canada. The company has been inspected by OSHA more than 50 times since 1980 and has received more than 100 citations., which operates Frontier FS, a grain handling facility in Ixonia,

"Failing to de-energize and lock out sweep augers puts workers entering grain bins at an unnecessary risk for amputation injuries, engulfment and suffocation," said Kim Stille, OSHA's area director in Madison.

In addition to the willful violation, two serious violations involve failing to provide body harnesses or alternative protection as well as rescue equipment for work inside grain bins where engulfment hazards are present. Two other-than-serious violations involve failing to complete a certification for a personal protective equipment hazard assessment and to identify tag out devices used for servicing and maintenance activities.

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