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Grain handler cited for disregarding health and safety of workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has prescribed safety standards for all industries. This is to protect the health and safety of workers in Missouri and elsewhere. One industry that is known to be extremely hazardous is grain handling, and OSHA inspectors recently revealed their findings in an investigation into workers' safety at a Cape Girardeau grain handler.

OSHA received a complaint related to an unsafe work environment at the company in March. It launched an investigation and found that workers were indeed exposed to multiple hazards that can lead to severe injuries and even fatalities. The risks typical of grain handling include suffocation or being crushed when a worker is overwhelmed by a load of grain, along with amputation and fall hazards. Unexpected explosions at grain handling plants have also been known to cause severe consequences.

The citations issued to this company included the lack of confined space control and management along with the failure to provide employees with annual safe grain handling procedures. Workers without protective equipment were exposed to falls from open-sided platforms and unguarded floor openings with no equipment or protocol in place to handle emergencies. Employees were uninformed about the hazardous chemicals on the premises, and equipment lacked lockout/tagout devices and procedures to prevent unexpected start-ups.

It is not surprising that workers lodged a complaint about their safety at this Missouri company. While the OSHA citations may benefit the health and safety of workers at this facility in the future, those whose injuries gave rise to the concern may be coping with medical bills and related expenses. Fortunately, relief may be obtained through the workers' compensation insurance system. Benefits claims may be filed that could lead to an award of compensation for medical expenses along with a percentage of lost wages.

Source: powderbulksolids.com, "Missouri Grain Handling Company Fined $42k by OSHA", May 24, 2016

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