OSHA cites Country Vision Cooperative for exposing workers to grain bin hazards

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Employer name: Country Vision Cooperative
709 Mill Street
Reedsville, Wisconsin

Investigation site: W2468 County Road E
Chilton, Wisconsin

Citations issued: Sept. 14, 2015

Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Appleton Area Office cited the Chilton facility for one willful and three serious safety violations. OSHA opened an investigation of the facility, which stores wheat, corn and soybeans, in June 2015 after receiving a complaint alleging workers unsafe working conditions.

  • The willful violation cites the company for failing to turn off power sources to augers before allowing employees to enter grain storage bins. Allowing workers to enter bins with augers running exposes them to amputation hazards* as well as the possibility of being engulfed in moving grain. The serious violations involved augers that lacked protective guarding, and electrical equipment that was obstructed or improperly labeled.

Quote: “A grain bin with a moving auger is a dangerous place. A worker can become engulfed in moving grain and suffocate in mere seconds, and there’s a risk of amputation as well,” said Robert Bonack, OSHA’s area director in Appleton. “Country Vision Cooperative needs to make immediate improvements to its safety procedures to protect workers on the job.”

 Proposed Penalties: $70,000

View Citations: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/osha/OSHA20151750fs.pdf*

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Appleton Area Office at 920-734-4521.

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