May 11, 2015
Hanby Farms' workers face grain bin dangers, other hazards
OSHA proposes more than $102K in penalties
NASHPORT, Ohio – It takes only 60 seconds for a worker to be submerged in flowing grain; more than half of those engulfed in grain die. Workers at Hanby Farms in Nashport were exposed to being buried in grain or overcome by noxious fumes because the company did not verify that conditions were safe before allowing employees to enter bins at the grain elevator and feed mill.
U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors visited Hanby Farms Inc. on Nov. 6, 2014, under the Local Emphasis Program for grain handling. After identifying 29 serious safety violations, OSHA proposed penalties of $102,900.
"Grain bins can become lethal in seconds," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "Hanby Farms needs to take immediate action to eliminate its facility's safety and health hazards."
Inspectors found Hanby Farms failed to train employees on grain bin and confined space hazards and neglected to provide adequate rescue equipment for employees who entered the bin.
Workers were also exposed to combustible grain dust hazards; moving machinery parts without guards, multiple electrical hazards; and falls from unguarded railings, climbing on lift trucks and improper use of ladders. Investigators also noted powered industrial vehicles not approved for conditions were combustible grain dust may be present and improper storage of flammable materials.
To view current citations, see http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/HanbyFarmsSafety_1006716_0429_15.pdf*
After the deaths of more than 26 U.S. workers in grain bin entrapments in 2010—the highest number on record—OSHA focused its enforcement effort on the grain and feed industry's six major danger areas. These include engulfment, falls, auger entanglement, struck-by, combustible dust and electrocution hazards. OSHA has also published information related to common grain industry hazards and abatement methods, proper bin entry techniques, sweep auger use and many other grain-related topics.
Hanby Farms 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 Columbus Area Office at 614-469-5582.
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.
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Release Number: 15-831-CHI
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