Northeast Nebraska dairy cited by labor department

December 18, 2018

CLEARWATER — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a Northeast Nebraska dairy operation for failing to develop and implement safety and health programs related to grain bin entry after an employee suffered fatal injuries.

OSHA inspectors determined that an operating sweep auger lacerated an employee’s leg as he attempted to remove corn from inside a grain bin at the Thiele Dairy in Clearwater.

OSHA subsequently cited the company for eight serious violations of the grain bin safety standard, and one other-than-serious violation for failing to report the fatality within the required eight hours.

“Mechanical equipment inside grain storage structures present serious hazards that are well-known in this industry,” said Matthew Thurlby, OSHA’s area office acting director in Omaha. “This employer’s failure to follow safety requirements led to a tragedy that could have been prevented.”

The company faces penalties totaling $78,899.

The dairy, which is jointly owned by brothers Ron, Tom and Bill Thiele, now has an opportunity 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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