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News Brief

OSHA cites Montana sugar beet grower’s cooperative again for safety failures

Company faces nearly $116K in fines for hazardous conditions at the Billings site

Employer name: The Western Sugar Cooperative, a sugar beets grower’s cooperative in Denver

Inspection site: 3020 State Ave., Billings, Montana

Citations issued: Five serious and four repeat.

Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued five serious violations related to fall hazards, unguarded floor holes and electrical equipment not approved for locations containing accumulations of combustible coal dust. The four repeat violations found relate to excessive accumulations of combustible coal dust, unguarded projecting shaft ends, open electrical junction boxes and temporary wiring.

Proposed penalties: $115,900.

Quote: “Western Sugar Cooperative should have been addressing these hazards before OSHA got involved,” said Art Hazen, OSHA’s area director in Billings. “The violations are particularly frustrating given that these are some of same hazards we found during a prior investigation.”  

The citations can be viewed: here.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, Art Hazen or contest the finding before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA’s Billings Area Office.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the Billings Area Office at 406-247-7494.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration
April 4, 2016
Release Number
Media Contact: Leo Kay
Phone Number
Media Contact: Jose Carnevali