Archer Coop Fined After May PTO Accident

Archer, Iowa — A northwest Iowa coop has paid a fine for violations discovered after an accident at their facility in May.

According to the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office, 20-year old Francesca Feekes, who is an intern at Archer Coop Grain was injured when she became entangled in a PTO shaft on a tender truck at the co-op. Authorities say she was transported by Archer Ambulance to Sanford Sheldon Medical Center with serious injuries to her scalp and ears. Feekes lost her hair and scalp, but survived the incident and has had skin grafting done. A benefit was held to help her defray medical expenses on August 11th.

According to Iowa OSHA Administrator Jens Nissen, an inspection at Archer Coop Grain beginning on May 23rd and completed later this summer found five violations of their lockout/tag-out standard. He says that standard says that if there are any potential energy sources (including devices powered by electricity or any other fuel) that employees could come into contact with while performing their work, the employer is required to ensure that the equipment is de-energized and incapable of re-energization while employees are performing the work.

He says there were four citations for that type of violation. He says they also found some paperwork violations.

Nissen says Archer Coop Grain had to pay fines for the citations.

He says that while they don’t like having to issue citations and fines, they do it for a reason.

Iowa OSHA received Archer Coop Grain’s payment in late July, and Nissen says the coop has submitted information regarding corrective measures, but Iowa OSHA has requested additional information from the coop.

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