More Details Emerge About History Behind Fatal Grain Elevator Accident 09 Oct 17

The businesses involved with last week’s fatal accident at a Tenney grain elevator have received multiple fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

In a statement from the Wilkin County Sheriff’s Office, a 21-year-old male employee of Fergus Falls-based Gateway Building Systems was at the Wheaton Dumont Co-Op Elevator, working with two other crew members at around 2:45 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

The work was focused on a 150-foot-high platform on the outside of the elevator, which they were attempting to connect to another platform. The victim was pronounced dead-on-scene, we do not yet know their identity. The Minnesota State Patrol, Breckenridge Ambulance Service, and Campbell Rescue also responded to the incident.

We do know that, in four separate incidents in the last nine years, Gateway Building Systems has been fined a total of $12,800 by OSHA.

  • In July 2008, three workers were injured after falling from a nine-foot-high platform, elevated by a forklift; they were found to be improperly tethered.
  • In November 2013, $2,800 was assessed against Gateway for inadequate vehicle safety.
  • Another violation was from May 2016, where Gateway was found to lack proper fall protection systems.
  • OSHA levied $6,000 in fines against Gateway last July for failing to provide adequate protective equipment for its employees.

In August 2013, the Co-Op received $2,380 in fines from OSHA for failure to properly shield and maintain both equipment and doors.

KMRS/KKOK has reached out to both the Co-Op and Gateway Building Systems for comment. James Honerman, Communications Director for the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, has also confirmed that Minnesota’s OSHA Compliance office has opened an investigation.