MN Malt Firm Faces Fines after Fatality

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 @ 06:07 PM gHale

Rahr Malting Co. in Shakopee, MN, is facing $52,800 in fines for safety violations after a worker was fatally injured in January, said officials at the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Inspectors issued four serious citations to the company after determining it failed to control potentially hazardous energy and provide point-of-operation machine guarding, which resulted in a worker getting caught in a machine and suffering the fatal injuries.

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Kelly Clifford Hoban, 58 of South St. Paul, died after falling into a large grain bin and making contact with some processing equipment.

Rahr Malting Company is a major supplier of malt to United States breweries.

Emergency crews arrived to discover Hoban died in the grain bin.

Company officials said at the time of the accident, Hoban had been employed at the plant for just three months.

James Honerman, a spokesman for the Department of Labor and Industry, said OSHA immediately opened its investigation.

Investigators were looking at worker training, any hazards that were present and examining safety protocols in place at the time.

State records show Rahr was last inspected in 2009. The state has issued the company seven separate safety violations since 1989, although none were major.

A 2013 explosion rocked Rahr’s power subsidiary on the property, Koda Energy, but there were no injuries. Minnesota OSHA did not investigate that incident.

Minnesota has an average of 17 workplace fatalities each year. The leading factors are employees coming into contact with an object or equipment, followed by accidental falls.

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