OSHA investigation finds safety violations in Georgia grain silo fatality
September 18, 2023 at 21:07
The death of a worker who suffocated in a Georgia grain silo could have been prevented had their employer not violated safety regulations, federal officials say.
That finding results from a U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation into the April death of a 59-year-old worker in Colquitt, Georgia, about 210 miles southwest of Atlanta.
The worker suffocated while attempting to unclog a grain bin at a silo operated by Cedar Head LLC.
As the worker stood atop the grain, the pile shifted and quickly engulfed them, a monthslong OSHA investigation found.
One other employee saw a rope tied to the worker disappearing into the grain but could not rescue their engulfed colleague.
A Cedar Head spokesperson could not be reached through a number listed online for the company.
SAVANNAH TO CONTRIBUTE HALF A MILLION DOLLARS TO RESTORE HOUSE THAT HOSTED AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN ART MUSEUMCLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe OSHA probe uncovered nine workplace violations, the agency said.
Cedar Head faces more than $41,000 in fines.
"Our investigation found Cedar Head failed to follow required federal safety standards that might have saved this worker’s life," said OSHA Acting Area Director Heather Sanders in a news release.
The safety violations listed by regulators include not training workers on how to enter a grain bin safely and not providing rescue equipment for employees entering a bin.
The Georgia accident occurred just shy of one year after a South African teenage farm worker suffocated after falling into a grain storage bin at a Mississippi soybean farm.
That worker would still be alive had his employer, Bare Bones Farms, followed federal workplace safety standards, inspectors with OSHA said.