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Columbia Grain cited after grain bin death

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Columbia Grain International (CGI) LLC after a worker's death last summer.

grain-bins
Photo by Andrea Gantz

Company faces $190,000 in proposed penalties

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Columbia Grain International (CGI) LLC for willfully exposing workers to grain-handling hazards after the fatal engulfment of an employee at the company’s Arvilla, North Dakota, storage facility last summer.

The Portland, Oregon-based company faces $190,000 in proposed penalties related to the death of a worker who died while cleaning a grain bin in July 2019. Kevin John Anderson, 58, was cleaning a bin when he became buried under 15 feet of corn and died. At the time, the local sheriff’s office said rescuers spent two hours trying to find Anderson and remove him from the bin. He was unresponsive when he was located and pronounced dead at the scene.

OSHA inspectors determined that CGI failed to follow OSHA standards during grain bin entry and cleaning operations. OSHA issued a willful citation for allowing employees to “walk the grain” and for not preventing contact with operating machine parts by locking out the bin’s conveyor system. Violations related to walking/working surfaces, ladder use, machine guarding, bin entry procedures and bin rescue procedures resulted in serious citations.

“This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had simply followed well-known safety procedures,” said OSHA Area Director Scott Overson in Bismarck, North Dakota. “Instead, they exposed employees to dangerous hazards that resulted in the loss of life.”

CGI has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

According to its website, is a leading worldwide grain and pulse supplier that supplies grains and pulses to service U.S. and worldwide export markets.

 

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