OSHA cites poultry processor after worker fatality

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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MOSELLE, Miss. – Southern Hens Inc. received 43 safety and health violations following the death of an employee who slipped and fell into an unguarded screw conveyor at the company's Moselle, Miss. facility, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The proposed fines total $160,000.

The company received 37 serious safety and health violations that involve failing to:

• establish an audiometric testing program;
• protect propane tanks from vehicular traffic;
• provide personal protective equipment for employees;
• conduct monthly inspections of self-contained breathing apparatuses;
• evaluate hazards in the workplace to determine if any spaces were permit required confined spaces;
• identify mechanical hazards in the offal pits prior to employees entering;
• provide training for employees entering offal pits;
• develop energy control procedures for augers, chillers, scalders, cookers and dumpers; and
• provide lockout/tagout training of energy sources to all affected workers.

Other violations included obstructing exit routes, not having visible exit signs, a lack of machine guards on several pieces of equipment and exposing workers to shock, struck-by, burn, crushing, tripping, falling, slipping and amputation hazards.

Additionally, Southern Hens received six other-than-serious safety and health violations, according to OSHA. The company failed to:

• post the approved floor load capacity for the parts supply area above a maintenance office;
• post not-an-exit sign in the evisceration room and steam cook area;
• have cover plates on electrical boxes;
• allow a metal duplex receptacle and flexible cord to be used instead of permanent wiring; and
• not labeling containers of chlorinated sanitizer and refrigeration oil.

Southern Hens has 15 business days to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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