Utica, NY (WIBX) - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is levying more than $155,000  in fines against a Utica company following the death of an employee in May.

Harbor Point Mineral Products was cited for 21 violations, including four willful violations. Willful violations exist when an employer shows "intentional disregard" or "plain indifference" towards employee safety.

The other 17 violations are considered "serious" by OSHA standards. Violations included a lack of rescue equipment, various fall hazards and employee over-exposures to grain dust. Serious violations are classified as issues where there is "substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result."

OSHA's investigation began after 24-year-old Craig Bernier, of Mohawk, was suffocated by cotton seed inside of a silo.

The company has 15 business days to either comply, meet with OSHA or contest the findings.

At least 26 Americans workers died last year after being trapped by stored feed or grain.

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