Wilcox Farms cited for fatal silo accident
TUMWATER, Wash. (AP) — A Roy, Washington, farm has been fined more than $67,000 following the death of a worker who was buried under tons of spilled corn at a collapsed grain silo in December.
The Department of Labor & Industries cited Wilcox Farms Feedmill, Inc. for several violations, saying the silo was overfilled, and a side discharge system was used to unload the corn instead of the manufacturer’s standard procedure of withdrawing grain from the vertical center. The state investigation also found shortcomings in how the company maintained and managed the silo, as well as inadequate employee training.
Officials say when the 60-foot-tall silo collapsed, two employees were discharging corn using an auger in the silo. When they opened a side discharge door to allow corn to flow onto the outer portion of the auger, the silo collapsed and 400-500 tons of corn spilled out, engulfing one worker.
Wilcox Family Farms has 15 working days to appeal the citation. In a statement, the farm says it is reviewing the state’s findings and looking at its options. It adds, “workplace and food safety has been and continues to be a high priority. “