Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), agreed to pay $650,00 in penalties for safety and health violations at its rail car repair facility in Decatur, Ill., and to create a new position of vice president of safety and health.
"We are pleased that ADM has agreed to resolve this matter," said OSHA Administrator Charles N. Jeffress. "The company has already corrected the dangerous conditions involving serious hazards to employees who were working in confined spaces without proper equipment and assistance. Even more encouraging is the company's willingness to improve safety and health conditions at all its facilities nationwide."
ADM said in the settlement that the conditions in the original violations have been corrected and that the vice president of safety and health will be charged with corporate-wide authority and responsibility for monitoring the working conditions throughout the company.
OSHA inspected ADM's rail car facility following an employee complaint that the workers were assigned to clean inside rail tank cars without an attendant present.
OSHA also found that employees working inside the rail cars were wearing body harnesses without attached retrieval lines. Those lines would allow for emergency rescue of employees without exposing others to the confined space.
As a result of its investigation, OSHA cited the company on Dec. 2, 1998, for violations of the confined space and respiratory protection standards, as well as inadequate storage of flammable and combustible materials.
"By correcting the initial problem and creating a new position for oversight on safety and health, ADM has taken a significant first step to improve the safety and health of its workers," said Jeffress.
ADM's corporate headquarters and numerous facilities are in Decatur.
The company, which processes and merchandises agricultural commodities and products, employs approximately 14,000 workers nationwide.
Approximately 45 workers are employed at the railcar repair facility.