Purina facility in Kansas faces $40,200 OSHA fine

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A Purina Animal Nutrition facility in Wichita, Kansas has been cited by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The feed and grain facility faces a $40,200 fine for the alleged workplace safety violations, which include fall risks and explosion hazards, reported OSHA.

The citation addresses Land O’Lakes Purina Feed LLC and Purina Animal Nutrition.

“Employee safety is one of our core values, and we take these situations seriously,” a Land O’Lakes spokesperson told us. “We are reviewing the information we received and have no further comment at this time.”

Report details

The first serious violation noted in OSHA’s report was for fall hazards present at the facility. The report noted that ladderway floor openings and platforms did not have the standard railing and toeboards on exposed sides other than the entrance.

The ladderway floor openings were not properly guarded and workers handling grain faced the potential for falls of 6 to 10 feet in areas including the cyclone catwalks, the bulk loadout catwalks and the mill tower elevated platform, according to the report.

“Falls are one of the leading causes of death in the workplace,” said Judy Freeman, OSHA's area director in Wichita in a release. “To help employers, OSHA offers a Stop Falls online resource with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection as well as other safety standards.”

Other serious violations listed in the report included failure to implement housekeeping procedures to prevent grain dust accumulation in priority and non-priority areas. 

The facility should have a written housekeeping program that sets the frequency and manner to remove grain dust from ledges, floors, equipment or other surfaces, according to the report.

And grain dust of more than 1/8 of an inch was allowed to collect in priority areas, the report stated. Combustible grain dust of more than five inches had collected in the soft stock basement.

What’s next?

The facility has a period of time to respond to the OSHA citation and a range of options, according to the report. It also has to post a copy of the citation near where each reported violation occurred.

Possible responses include the opportunity to have an informal meeting with OSHA representatives to discuss the citationst. “This may lead to changes in the penalty amount, due date or correction deadlines (if appropriate),” it added.

Additionally, the company has a period of 15 days to write and contest the citation, according to the report. And the violations have to be addressed by April 21.

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