Osha’s top Ten Companies Fined: Part 3 Companies 7 – 10
Note: the actual names of the company have been changed.
7. Company G – $729,000
Geneseo, IL, and Annawan, IL at a Grain elevator
- 17 willful citations- 8 instances of directing workers to enter workspaces where grain built up on the sides could fall and bury them, failure to take measures such as shutting down or locking out mechanical equipment to prevent them from endangering employees.
- 5 citations- violations of the Grain Handling and Lockout/Tagout Standards.
Entering a bin while the auger is operating is dangerous. As the auger unloads the bin, grain flows to the outlet and is released, causing the grain above it to flow in and replace the released grain. When a worker stands on flowing grain, their weight forces the grain supporting them to flow to the outlet more quickly, causing them to rapidly sink into the grain. According to one source, at the average flow rate for grain, a 6-foot tall worker can be covered with grain in 11 seconds and would be unable to free him/her self after the first 5 seconds
8. Company H – $563,000
Lorain, OH at a Steel manufacturer
- 7 willful violations- exposing employees to falls and failure to affix lockout/tagout devices such as the Ideal 44-971 Standard Lockout Tagout Kit.
- 3 repeat violations- related to lockout/tagout.
- 13 violations- various totaling to a $143,000 fine.
Approximately 3 million workers service equipment and face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not properly implemented. Compliance with the lockout/tagout standard 29 CFR 1910.147 prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year
9. Company I – $555,000
Mount Carroll, IL at a Grain elevator
- 11 willful citations-failure to provide body harnesses and lifelines to prevent engulfment such as the Guardian 10927 50′ Heavy Duty Self Retracting Lifeline, not training workers on moving grain hazards, & not shutting down equipment before workers entered the bin.
- 12 citations- violations of several standards including Grain Handling and lockout/tagout.
Last July, two teenagers (ages 14 and 19) were killed in a tragic incident involving a grain elevator in Illinois. Both young workers suffocated after being engulfed in a grain bin they had entered to help clear. A third young worker was pulled out of the storage bin alive, and was hospitalized after being trapped for 12 hours.Unfortunately, this was not a rare occurrence and this trend is continuing. Researchers at Purdue University documented 51 grain entrapment’s in 2010 alone. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has found that grain entrapment’s generally occur because of employer negligence, non-compliance with OSHA standards, and/or poor safety and health practices.
10. Company J – $487,000
Batesville, MS at a Manufacturer
- 16 repeat citations- violations related to lockout/tagout, blockage of exit doors, lack of machine guarding, and a lack of hazardous warning labels on tanks containing hazardous substances.
- 17 citations- struck-by hazards, unapproved electrical equipment, lack of exit signage, & not requiring employees to wear safety goggles during welding activities.
Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation. In a study conducted by the United Auto Workers (UAW), 20% of the fatalities (83 of 414) that occurred among their members between 1973 and 1995 were attributed to inadequate hazardous energy control procedures specifically, lockout/tagout procedures.