OSHA and the U.S. Department of Labor say MFA Enterprises, Inc. - Operating as West Central Agri Services - faces fines of $215,000.00 for an explosion at their grain loading facility in Adrian on New Year's Eve.

A U.S. Department Department of Labor OSHA investigation found, "that the company failed to equip bucket elevators with monitoring devices that notify workers when a belt is slipping and potentially causing friction that could ignite grain dust. OSHA standards require these devices at grain handling facilities that have a storage capacity of over one million bushels. OSHA also found the company had not updated its dust collection system since its installation in 1974."

The investigation also found some other safety problems at the grain facility including willfully letting employees walk atop railcars with open hatches without fall protection. A broken overhead trolley system used for connecting fall protection devices. Failure to designate hazardous areas. And violations related to a lack of preventative maintenance.

“West Central Agri Services failed to follow industry standards and create company policies for safe grain handling, and needlessly put their own workers in serious danger,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kimberly Stille in Kansas City, Missouri in a press release. “Grain handling hazards can be avoided by using well-known safety measures that are proven to help prevent workers from being injured or killed.”

The company has 15 days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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