New York animal feed processor fined in worker death

Harbor Point Mineral Products receives 21 citations for violations of workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined New York animal feed processor Harbor Point Mineral Products $155,200 and cited the company for 21 violations of workplace safety standards following the May 11 death of employee Craig D. Bernier, who was fatally engulfed by cotton seed stored in a silo.

Four of the violations were cited as willful — an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plan indifference to employee safety and health. Another 17 were serious violations for a variety of additional safety and health hazards, including allowing an employee to “walk down” the grain; the lack of rescue equipment and training; employees overexposed to grain dust and the lack of controls to reduce the exposure level; respiratory and hazard communication deficiencies; and fall hazards from unguarded ladder, floor and wall openings.

Harbor Point has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, meet with OSHA or contest the findings to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.