Grain News

OSHA Cites CHS For Alleged Violations at MT Locations

Date Posted: April 24, 2014

Billings, MT—The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited CHS Inc. for 19 violations of workplace safety and health standards, including 14 serious, three repeat and two other-than-serious violations, at grain-handling facilities in Montana.

The company faces $211,000 in proposed fines as a result of four inspections at Montana facilities in Cut Bank, Glendive, Denton and Valier.

OSHA issued three repeat violations to CHS for failing to test the air quality in permit-required confined spaces for hazardous gases, contaminants, combustible dust or lack of oxygen prior to allowing entry by workers; for failing to have effective procedures to remove fugitive grain dust accumulations; and for failing to have safe electrical equipment in combustible dust areas.

The serious violations identified during the latest investigations by OSHA include inadequate confined space entry and recovery procedures, which can cause immediate death, incapacitation or impede the ability to be rescued; inadequate machine guarding, which exposes workers to amputations and lacerations; obstructed exit routes, which can lead to entrapment and engulfment; and live exposed electrical wiring.

A serious citation is issued when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

CHS made the following statement regarding the Montana citations:

"CHS is very disappointed by the scope and severity of the alleged violations and plans to challenge the OSHA citations resulting from inspections of our grain facilities at Denton, Cut Bank, Glendive and Valier.

"CHS is deeply committed to the safety and well-being of our employees, strives for compliance with all regulatory requirements and maintains cooperative working relationships with regulators.

"We continually assess our facilities, our work practices and our safety training. CHS is proud of its excellent safety performance record in all of our operations, including those in the state of Montana."

For more information, call 415-625-2631.

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