In some instances, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate an employer in the wake of a work-related accident. OSHA tends to look for violations of federal safety standards and will issue a citation to the employer.
In previous posts we've discussed some of the concern that has been raised surrounding the grain industry. There had been a number of fatal accidents reported where grain facility workers were killed after being trapped underneath tons of grain. OSHA increased their efforts to enforce grain industry safety regulations across the nation. Just recently, a Colorado grain handling facility was cited for a number of safety violations.
Citations can cost companies and employers thousands of dollars. These citations can also cover violations that OSHA had discovered in the past but that the employer failed to rectify. OSHA also notes which violations can cause serious harm or even death for employees.
The grain handling company was cited for violations that include:
- Improper electrical wiring
- Fall hazards
- Inadequate guards for machines
- Improper controls for grain dust
- Failure to provide adequate protective gear
While some of the violations may not always lead to fatalities, grain facility workers may still suffer injury from these types of hazards. For example, improper electrical wiring and other electrical hazards could cause electrocution. Also, if workers do not have the appropriate protective gear, they may suffer injuries if objects fall on them or strike them.
OSHA has already issued a number of citations to other facilities for similar violations as this Colorado facility. Action taken by OSHA is intended to prevent accidents from occurring in the future and promote safe work environments.
Source: OSHA Regional News Release, "US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Wagner's of Flagler, Colo., for unsafe working conditions at grain handling facility," Sept. 12, 2011