Update: Kearney Man Killed in Grain Elevator Accident
A Kearney man is dead after an accident at a grain elevator in northern Adams County.
The Adams County Sheriff is calling it an "industrial accident." It happened around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the CPI Hayland elevator just south of Prosser.
Jason Weston, 41, died at the scene.
Both the sheriff's office and Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating.
OSHA said Thursday initial reports indicate Weston was in the process of drawing grain from a bin and was caught by an operating auger.
“We want to extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the worker who lost his life yesterday, said Darwin Craig, OSHA’s acting area director in Omaha. “These types of incidents are preventable and it is the employers’ responsibility to ensure employees are properly trained and have a safe working environment. OSHA will be conducting a thorough investigation with Cooperative Producers Inc. to determine if any violations of safety procedures contributed to this tragic incident.”
CPI released a statement about the incident on Thursday. It reads:
"Cooperative Producers, Inc. suffered a tragic loss of a valued employee. Jason Weston, age 41, was fatally injured in an accident that occurred on March 16, 2016. Events and circumstances surrounding this tragic loss are still being determined. However, due to the fact that it was a workplace fatality, the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety Administration will make a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding this event. In the interim, Cooperative Producers, Inc. extends it most sincere condolences to Jason’s family, friends and all that are grieving this tragic loss."
OSHA calls its history with Cooperative Producers Inc. and C.P.I.-Lansing LLC "extensive."
"CPI-Lansing’s grain storage facility in Red Cloud was cited in 2012 for allowing workers to enter grain bins while sweep augers were operating. Cooperative Producers’ grain handling facilities in Franklin, Trumbull and Funk were cited in 2011 for a total of 11 violations. Additionally, a tire facility Cooperative Producers purchased in Minden was cited in July 2015 for a vehicle violation," the organization said in a statement Thursday.
The company operates 40 grain-handling facilities throughout the state.