Grain silos are important tools in Nebraska's agricultural world, but workplace safety is always at stake when they are used incorrectly.
Crossroads Cooperative Association has been in a legal battle with the estate of Joseph James Teague about a settlement regarding Teague's death. Teague was cleaning a grain silo when a supervisor stepped away, but he returned later and found Teague dead. Several regulatory violations were found, including the operation of machinery in the bin while Teague was cleaning it.
Teague's estate sued, and the battle rose all the way to the Nebraska supreme court. The Court ruled that they could not claim wrongful death, and instead had to pursue workman's compensation, but did note several violations by the company.
"Teague's supervisor sent Teague into the bin without a lifeline or any other equipment that could prevent engulfment past Teague's waist," a judge wrote in the ruling. "The Crossroads facility where Teague worked also lacked adequate equipment for a rescue operation if engulfment were to occur, also in violation of OSHA regulations."
It's a tragic situation, and one that potentially could