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Region 5 News Release: 08-321-CHI
March 25, 2008
Contact: Brad Mitchell or Scott Allen
Phone: 312-353-6976


U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA cites Illinois grain handling company after investigation into fatality in Mazon
Company also operates in Ransom, Dwight and Odell

MAZON, Ill. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $158,250 in fines against Access Ag Inc., a Mazon-based grain handling company, for three alleged willful and four alleged serious violations of federal workplace safety standards found during a September 2007 investigation after an employee was asphyxiated in a grain bin.

The willful violations include failing to lockout equipment prior to bin entry to prevent accidental energy start-up; allowing employees to walk on the grain to make it flow; and failing to require employees to wear body harnesses with lifelines during bin entry.

The serious violations include deficient ladders; failing to provide rescue equipment for employees entering a grain bin; training deficiencies; failing to implement an emergency action plan; and failing to maintain communication between observers and persons entering the grain bin.

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazardous condition about which the employer knew or should have known