DENVER (AP) – Federal prosecutors have filed a criminal charge against Tempel Grain Elevators following the death of a 17-year-old worker who suffocated in a grain elevator in Haswell in 2009.

Cody Rigsby died after entering a grain bin while it was being emptied into a truck.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration already has proposed $1.6 million in fines for alleged violations of workplace safety rules. On Tuesday, prosecutors charged the company with violating OSHA rules, including one requiring it to give employees body harnesses before sending them into bins where they could be engulfed by grain.

Tempel Grain attorney John Richilano told The Denver Post the company has cooperated with OSHA and with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and is in “the final stages of reaching an agreement with the government.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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