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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

Journalist Notes Lack Of OSHA Oversight In Wake Of Fatal Blast

One worker was killed after a grain bin at the Union Mill Co-Op in northwestern Indiana exploded on June 17, according to the Associated Press. The victim, a worker, was inside a grain silo when an explosion occurred. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

According to a report from Think Progress, the co-op had never been inspected by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.

Steve Wettschurack, a farm safety expert from Purdue University, told AP reporters that a tiny spark, such as one from a hammer, can cause an explosion if enough combustible materials are present, which is often the case in unchecked grain combines.

Bryce Covert of Think Progress reports that the facility had not received a documented inspection from OSHA in at least 20 years.

“Thanks to a perpetually low budget and staffing difficulties due in part to low pay, state OSHA inspections have become very rare, with the average workplace only seeing an inspector every 99 years,” Covert wrote.

Covert is right—OSHA cannot have eyes everywhere, so employers and workers must work together to eliminate hazards. There is more information on workers comp and workplace accidents on our site. Please contact our firm for a free consultation if you have been injured on the job.

Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys

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