OSHA cites Idaho farm in farmworker's death

Times-News (Twin Falls)June 4, 2014 

An Idaho farm has been cited with five safety violations and faces $25,200 in proposed fines after an investigation into the Feb. 11 death of a worker, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said.

Antonio Briano, 54, died from mass trauma after becoming entangled in mixing equipment used for cattle feed at Anderson Farms in Heyburn, in the Magic Valley. The manner of his death could not be determined, Minidoka County Coroner Lucky Bourn told county commissioners in February.

“This terrible tragedy sadly demonstrates that a worker’s life can be lost in an instant because of an employer’s failure to implement required safety measures,” said David Kearns, area director of OSHA’s Boise office.

That office cited Anderson Farms for three serious violations and two “other-than-serious” violations.

“It was a tragic, tragic accident,” said Trent Anderson of Anderson Farms. “What we got fined for wouldn’t have prevented the accident. He (Briano) was somewhere he shouldn’t have been and knew he shouldn’t have been. It was a bad accident, and we feel for the family.”

The Heyburn business was cited for failure to establish a lockout/tagout program and procedures to protect workers from moving machine parts during servicing and maintenance. The employer failed to provide hardware, such as locks, to prevent unexpected start-ups of equipment, OSHA found. Anderson Farms also was cited for failure to follow permit-required confined space regulations.

Other violations included the company’s failure to report a worker’s death and to keep an OSHA injury and illness log.

OSHA violations are considered serious if death or severe injury could result from a hazard that an employer knew or should have known about. A violation is named other-than-serious if it has a direct relationship to job safety and health but would not cause death or severe harm.

In Idaho, 19 workers were killed on the job in 2012. They were among the 4,628 injuries on job sites, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

ccrane@magicvalley.com

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