Working in a grain elevator is a hazardous occupation. In fact OSHA has made the industry an area of emphasis on a national basis, according to the agency's director for the Billings area. The director says it is not unusual for grain elevators to be found in noncompliance with OSHA safety regulations.
Employers have a legal duty to provide a safe workplace. The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration is charged with enforcing workplace safety regulations to minimize worker injuries and deaths. The usual penalty for an OSHA violation is a fine and an order to remedy the unsafe condition. But one Montana woman wants more justice than that after the death of her brother in a workplace fire. She has asked the Missoula County Attorney to consider criminal charges against the employer.
Working in a factory can be a dangerous way to make a living. The proximity of workers to heavy machinery can lead to injuries and even death. Recently a 28-year-old woman was killed in an on-the-job accident at a sugar processing factory in Lovell, Wyoming. According to a news report, the woman died after falling into some industrial equipment at the plant, which is owned by a co-op that has operations in Montana.
The oil industry provides a lot of jobs in Montana. The industry is booming, which means steady paychecks for a lot of Montana workers, and steady profits for employers. Unfortunately, some employers attach more importance to profits than to the safety of their workers. Recently, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a Montana refinery for 3 violations: one willful, one serious and one not serious.