Grain Facilities Harm Worker Safety Notes Waxahachie Personal Injury Attorney
Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) December 16, 2011 - Grain handling facilities across the state of Texas have recently been given serious Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA) violations. Serious OSHA violations show that a facility did not carry out safety practices and thus could have injured or killed workers while on the job. In Saginaw, Horizon Milling LLC could be liable for penalties up to $57,000 for 17 serious violations at its facility that employs 85 workers.
Workers were exposed to unsafe conditions in the flour blending, maintenance, shipping and receiving, and other operations at the company. Sprockets and chains, pulleys, vertical belts, and rotating shafts did not have guards or covers on them. Galleries and bin decks did not have two ways for workers to escape in the event of an emergency, and some exit areas were not the mandated 28 inches. OSHA gave them further violations for panel, junction boxes, and electrical pulls that did not have covers on them.
“When a person is seriously injured at the workplace, they have rights to go after the employer, his or her insurance company, and a manufacturer who can be held liable for a defective tool or machine,” said Waxahachie personal injury lawyer John Hale, of The Hale Law Firm. “Loved ones can also seek our legal guidance if an unexpected death happens to their spouse or family member while on the job.”
The Saginaw grain handling facility is not alone in reported OSHA violations. In Corpus Christi, the Corpus Christi Grain Co. had 20 serious and six willful violations for a total of $258,900 proposed penalties. While emptying grain from a storage bin, a worker was engulfed. Fortunately, the Corpus Christi Fire Department rescued the worker. OSHA requires personal protective equipment, such as a body harness or life line, to be used in these situations.
“Worksites like this should also have an employee who is trained in rescue equipment ready when a worker enters a storage bin like this,” said Hale. “Ignoring hazards or not having safety personnel or education puts worker safety and health in peril.”
OSHA found that the grain company did not have lockout procedures in place for augers and conveyors while workers were inside the grain bins. Preventive maintenance was not being done on machinery, and workroom floors had combustible dust that could have harmed employees. As a result of the violations, OSHA was compelled to send a notification letter to 13,000 grain elevator operators about proper safety precautions.
“Whether a company employs a few or hundreds of workers, it takes just one act of negligence or carelessness to change the life of another,” said Hale. “This is unacceptable and can cause undue pain, medical bills, and a life that is changed forever.”
The Hale Law Firm
100 Executive Court, Suite 3
Waxahachie, TX 75165
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