OSHA proposes hefty fines for chicken processor

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WINESBURG, Ohio – The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Case Farms Processing Inc. for 61 safety and health violations. OSHA alleges violations of the agency's process safety management standards led to an ammonia release at the company's Winesburg facility June 30, 2011. Proposed fines total $228,000.

The agency said 19 of 26 serious health violations relate to process safety management standards designed to reduce workers' exposure to hazardous chemicals, according to OSHA.

Seven of 30 serious safety violations involve failing to provide machine guarding and 16 involve electrical safety standards including unsafe electrical practices that could have resulted in fire, electric shock or arc flash. The remainder involve failing to provide personal protective equipment to guard workers from falls and electrical hazards, allowing workers to walk on working surfaces without proper protection, and failing to implement and train workers in the use of lockout/tagout procedures to control hazardous energy sources.

The agency said five other-than-serious health and safety citations address an additional lockout/tagout deficiency, and a failure to document process safety required tests and incident investigations, record respirator fit tests and provide refresher training to designated first aid providers.

Case Farms Processing has headquarters in Morganton, NC. The company employs about 475 workers at its Winesburg facility and approximately 2,450 corporatewide. The company also has facilities in Strasburg and Massilion, Ohio, as well as Dudley, Goldsboro, Mt. Olive, Shelby and Troutman, NC.

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