OSHA has citedAGP Grain Marketing LLCin Hastings, Nebraska for exposing workers to machine guarding and fall hazards, as well as other safety and health hazards. OSHA has proposed $64,000 in penalties against the company.

The agency’s investigation was initiated under a local emphasis program that targets grain handling establishments in Nebraska and began in December 2010. It ended with the issuance of seven serious and one repeat citation.

"The hazards associated with grain handling operations are well recognized," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "All employers, and especially those in high-hazard industries such as the grain industry, must take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace."

Some of the serious citations include a spiral stairway being used as the primary means of access to levels in the grain elevator that was not equipped with standard railings; a fixed ladder that did not have clearance on its climbing side and did not have side rails that extended above the landing surface; a lack of a written respiratory program and annual employee fit-testing; and a lack of guarding on belts and pulleys.

The repeat citation is similar to one issued against the same company on March 18, 2009, for failing to inspect energy control procedures.