A Nebraska worker barely escaped with his life after being trapped in a bin at a grain-handling cooperative.
The incident occurred in May 2017 when the Farmers Cooperative employee had entered the bin to clear clumps of soybeans while the auger was running. As the clumped beans cleared, the grain shifted and knocked the worker off of his feet. The auger drew the cleared beans to the bottom of the bin and engulfed the worker up to his chest.
OSHA has cited Farmers Cooperative for failing to protect workers from grain bin entrapment and engulfment hazards. The company faces $373,911 in proposed penalties.
The agency cited the cooperative for two willful, one repeat, and four serious safety violations of the agency’s grain handling standards, and placed the company in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
“It is well known throughout the industry that entering a bin is extremely dangerous, especially while the auger is operating,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kimberly Stille, in Kansas City. “Entering a storage bin should always be avoided – if at all possible.”
OSHA previously cited the Dorchester-based Farmers Cooperative for a similar violation at its facility in Talmadge, for failing to properly train employees performing bin entry.