OSHA has fined an Oklahoma grain company in connection with an incident last August that caused two 17-year-olds to suffer leg amputations.
The teens became caught in an inadequately guarded conveyor while cleaning out a grain flat storage structure at Zaloudek Grain Co.’s Kremlin, OK, facility.
OSHA issued Zaloudek Grain four serious citations with fines totaling $21,500 for failure to:
- affix or secure the machine guard over the moving conveyor auger
- ensure the storage structure’s exit was free and unobstructed
- provide exit signs from the storage structure, and
- provide training for workers assigned to enter grain structures.
The company has 15 business days to decide whether to contest these citations.
One month after the incident, OSHA opened a separate, comprehensive safety inspection of the Kremlin facility under the Regional Emphasis Program for Grain Handling Facilities that uncovered five additional serious violations, including failure to:
- provide training on the use of a forklift
- develop and implement an emergency action plan and hazard communication program
- develop and implement a housekeeping program to reduce the accumulation of combustible dust in grain structures, and
- ensure precautions were taken before employees entered grain bins.
Those violations totaled $12,500 in fines, bringing the total Zaloudek Grain faces to $34,000. The company has contested the fines from the inspection under the Regional Emphasis Program.
OSHA has fined grain operators in Wisconsin, Illinois, Colorado, South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Nebraska following preventable fatalities and serious injuries in grain storage bins.