Columbia Export Terminal, LLC., in Portland, OR, is facing $73,499 in fines for exposing employees to fall hazards by failing to provide proper guardrail or personal fall arrest systems for walking-working surfaces, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

In addition, investigators said the company also failed to guard ladder access areas with fall protection and did not properly control hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) in the grain handling facility.

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OSHA issued nine serious and three other-than-serious citations to the company.

Among the violations inspectors found, the employer did not ensure each employee on a walking-working surface with an unprotected side or edge that is 4 feet (1.2m) or more above a lower level was protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system. The guardrail system on northwest side of the old cleaner building was missing mid-rails, exposing employees to 35 foot falls.

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In another, the employer needs to ensure each employee on a walking- working surface near an opening, including one with a chute attached, where the inside bottom edge of the opening is less than 39 inches (99 cm) above that walking-working surface and the outside bottom edge of the opening is 4 feet (1.2 m) or more above a lower level is protected from falling by the use of: Guardrail systems, safety net systems, travel restraint systems, or personal fall arrest systems. In this case, investigators found the ladder access areas were unguarded exposing employees to falls of 15′ 10″ to the top of the bins.

In addition, investigators found shaft ends projecting more than one-half the diameter of the shaft were not guarded by nonrotating caps or safety sleeves.

Adjacent to Cleaner Belt 15, the rotating shaft and bearing projecting out approx. 4″ was unguarded, exposing employees to serious injuries.

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