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Minnesota OSHA Compliance -- Grain-handling information, fatalities, MNOSHA inspections

Minnesota OSHA inspections during 2003 to 2012

Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) conducted 162 nonfatal inspections and eight fatality inspections in grain facilities from 2003 to 2012. Of the eight fatalities, three resulted in MNOSHA issuing citations for entrapment hazards and four resulted in citations for lack of employee training.

Unfortunately, these were not rare occurrences. A review of federal OSHA inspection data found grain entrapments generally occur because of employer negligence, noncompliance with OSHA standards, and overall poor safety and health practices.

During MNOSHA's fatality, near-miss, serious injury and planned compliance investigations, inspectors determined a main reason for these accidents was employees walking on top of the grain. Often, the employees who became engulfed in grain went inside a grain bin to try to dislodge or break up the grain and the buildup of grain collapsed below them or from the sides of the bin.

Minnesota OSHA fatality inspections at grain facilities from 2003 to 2011
2012 No fatalities in grain facilities covered by MNOSHA jurisdiction
2011 No fatalities in grain facilities covered by MNOSHA jurisdiction
2010 No fatalities in grain facilities covered by MNOSHA jurisdiction
2009 No fatalities in grain facilities covered by MNOSHA jurisdiction
2008 No fatalities in grain facilities covered by MNOSHA jurisdiction
2007 Two fatalities in grain facilities covered by MNOSHA jurisdiction
2006 Two fatalities in grain facilities covered by MNOSHA jurisdiction
2005 No fatalities in grain facilities covered by MNOSHA jurisdiction
2004 One fatality in grain facilities covered by MNOSHA jurisdiction
2003 Three fatalities in grain facilities covered by MNOSHA jurisdiction


Strategic plan adds planned compliance inspections

Because MNOSHA noticed an increase in the trend of serious accidents and fatalities involving walking on top of grain bins, it added grain industries to its strategic plan for 2009 through 2013. MNOSHA will conduct planned compliance inspections and offer free safety and health consultations at grain-handling facilities.

Family farms

In Minnesota, the majority of the fatalities involving grain-handling and storage involved farmers and farm workers, who are not under MNOSHA jurisdiction.

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