US Labor Department's OSHA cites Landmark Services Cooperative in
Evansville, Wis., for failing to protect workers loading rail cars from falls
EVANSVILLE, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Landmark Services Cooperative, a Wisconsin grain cooperative, with one willful safety violation for failing to protect workers from falls while they were loading grain products into rail cars at its Evansville facility. Proposed fines total $70,000.
"Failing to protect employees from falls while loading rail cars is a clear violation of OSHA's fall protection standards and demonstrates a disregard for worker safety," said Kim Stille, the agency's area director in Madison. "Employers have a responsibility to ensure that workers have proper safety protection, and work environments are healthful and safe."
The citation follows an investigation in September, prompted by a complaint, which determined employees were working on top of rail cars without fall protection while preparing the cars for loading of corn and soybeans. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
In 2010, OSHA developed a local emphasis program targets grain handling facilities after repeated safety violations were cited in the industry. The program covers hazards associated with grain engulfment, machine guarding, lockout/tagout of dangerous equipment to prevent accidental energization start-up, electricity, falls, employee training and combustible dust hazards.
Landmark Services Cooperative is a member-owned wholesale grain cooperative. The company is headquartered in Cottage Grove and operates multiple divisions at 20 facilities in south central Wisconsin. Prior to this investigation, the company had been inspected by OSHA a total of three times since 2006. A willful safety violation was issued in 2006 after an employee became engulfed in grain.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.
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 Madison Area Office at 608-441-5388.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.