The owners of a Kansas grain storage facility paid $685,000 in penalties for safety and health violations at its Haysville grain elevator as part of a final settlement approved by an administrative law judge, OSHA announced.
DeBruce Grain Inc. was cited by OSHA on Dec. 7, 1998, for violations of the grain handling standard that triggered an explosion at the Haysville facility on June 8, 1998.
That explosion killed seven workers and injured 10 others.
"This settlement cannot replace the lives lost nor make up for the pain suffered by those injured in that catastrophic accident almost three years ago," said Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. "But, it does show that DeBruce management wants to do the right thing by resolving this matter so they can continue to work toward eliminating safety hazards at their worksites and better protect their employees."
The agreement settles citations against the company that included hazards related to dust collection systems, the storage of flammable and combustible materials, machine guarding violations and violations of the respiratory protection and recordkeeping standards.
DeBruce Grain employs 250 workers at facilities in Nebraska, Texas, Iowa and Kansas.
The DeBruce facilities have a combined capacity of 44 million bushels of grain. The half mile-long facility at Haysville is the largest in the world under one head house, with a total storage capacity of 24 million bushels.
by Virginia Sutcliffe