ARVILLA, NORTH DAKOTA, U.S. — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Columbia Grain International (CGI) LLC for “willfully exposing workers to grain-handling hazards.” OSHA has proposed $190,000 in penalties against CGI, which was cited after an employee died in July 2019 as a result of being engulfed in corn at an Arvilla, North Dakota, storage facility.

OSHA said its inspectors determined that CGI failed to follow OSHA standards during grain bin entry and cleaning operations. According to OSHA, CGI allowed its employees to “walk the grain.” The company also failed to prevent contact with operating machine parts, OSHA said.

“This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had simply followed well-known safety procedures,” said Scott Overson, OSHA’s area director in Bismarck, North Dakota, U.S. “Instead, they exposed employees to dangerous hazards that resulted in the loss of life.”

CGI has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA is collaborating with the National Grain and Feed Association, Grain Elevator and Processing Society, American Feed Industry Association, and the Grain Handling Safety Coalition to identify potential hazards at grain, feed and processing facilities through the Stand-Up for Grain Safety Week slated for April 13-20.