Grain Bin Explosion
A thirty-five-year-old man died in an explosion at an Egg farm feed mill while working on the premises to repair bins used to hold grain and other material kept at the mill. The explosion occurred when a mill employee erroneously removed a product from the bin that was the site of the explosion, with apparent disregard for the dust created by the removal and for the other worker (the plaintiff) who was welding inside an adjacent bin. The decedent's estate brought a claim against the Egg farm feed mill, alleging, among other things, negligence. It was established through depositions of some of the mill employees that the mill did not employ a safety director, had no written safety rules or guidelines, had no written maintenance procedures for the mill, and provided no training for the handling of grains, their flammability or their explosiveness. Moreover, the mill manager was unaware of the flammability and explosive hazards associated with grains and dust. Following the explosion, the mill was cited by OSHA for numerous, serious, safety violations.