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OSHA cites company for exposing workers to grain dust and other hazards at Kansas site

09 May 2016

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited The Scoular Company for one repeat and four serious violations after a December 2015 investigation initiated under OSHA's Local Emphasis Program for Grain Handling hazards. OSHA has proposed penalties of $47,300 for the violations, which include exposing employees to grain dust explosion hazards.

The inspection found that workers were also exposed to fall hazards of up to 24 feet from ladderway openings and platforms lacking guardrails.

OSHA said the employer failed to implement housekeeping procedures to prevent grain dust accumulation in priority and non-priority areas and did not address removing grain and other products spills from the work area, exposing workers to trip hazards.

"Grain dust accumulation must be controlled to prevent a fuel source in bins from igniting in proximity to operating conveyors, augers and other equipment," said Judy Freeman, OSHA's area director in Wichita. "OSHA grain handling standards address the numerous serious and life threatening hazards found in grain bins including grain dust explosions, engulfment and entrapment from flowing grain, falls and amputation hazards. These common sense safety standards protect workers on the job in this hazardous industry."

Based in Omaha, Nebraska, The Scoular Company operates more than 130 independent business units where 1,200 workers are engaged in buying, selling, storing, handling, and processing grain and ingredients as well as managing transportation and logistics worldwide. The company was founded in 1892 and had nearly $6 billion in sales during fiscal year 2015.

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