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Region 7 News Release: 11-1553-KAN
Nov. 2, 2011
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6976      312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Cooperative Producers in Nebraska
for exposing workers to fall and other safety hazards; fines total $126,500

OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Cooperative Producers Inc., a grain elevator facility in Franklin, Neb., for six safety violations for exposing workers to a variety of hazards. OSHA initiated its inspection under a local emphasis program targeting grain handling establishments. Proposed penalties total $126,500.

"Hazards associated with the grain handling industry are well-recognized," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "Cooperative Producers failed to provide its employees with a safe and healthful environment. It is imperative that all employers take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace."

One willful violation, with a $70,000 proposed penalty, addresses hazards associated with fall protection on rolling stock. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Three serious violations, with $18,000 in proposed penalties, involve hazards associated with exit routes, flexible extension cords and an electrical receptacle. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

One repeat violation addresses fall protection deficiencies, and carries a proposed penalty of $38,500. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has b