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Grain elevator operator gets safety cite after worker hospitalized

Posted On: Aug. 5, 2016 12:00 AM CST

A North Dakota grain facility has been cited and is facing proposed penalties of $104,300 after a 36-year-old employee was hospitalized after being injured on the job.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that Lamoure, North Dakota-based Larson Grain Co. violated federal safety standards for grain handling and confined space entry after investigating the April 2016 incident in which a sweep auger caused a worker to suffer multiple lacerations, OSHA said Tuesday in a statement.

The company was cited for six willful and eight serious violations for failing to test atmospheric conditions in grain bins before allowing workers to enter, disconnect a sweep auger and other equipment in bins before allowing workers to enter and to train employees on procedures to prevent sudden machine start-up or unintentional operation, among other violations.

“OSHA’s grain-handling standards address the numerous serious and life-threatening hazards found in grain bins, including caught-in and confined space hazards,” Eric Brooks, OSHA’s area director in Bismarck, North Dakota, said in the statement. “Larson Grain could have prevented this worker’s injuries if only it had adhered to these common sense safety standards that protect workers in this hazardous industry.”

A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.