OSHA cites Pilgrim's Pride after worker fatality

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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CANTON, Ga. – Pilgrim's Pride Corp. was cited with eight safety violations and fined $58,755 following a worker fatality at the company's Canton, Ga. processing facility, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported April 16. The worker became caught in an unguarded hopper while attempting to remove a piece of cardboard, the agency said.

Pilgrim's was cited for two repeat safety violations for failing to include the process needed for the removal of locks and start-up following lockout/tagout. Also, the electrical cords did not have an effective strain relief device, OSHA said.

OSHA cited the company for four serious safety violations for failing to conduct annual periodic inspections of the energy control procedures and not providing effective machine and equipment guards so that workers cannot be exposed to struck-by and caught-in hazards, OSHA said.

"Establishing safety and health programs that identify and remove hazards before a worker gets injured or sick goes to the very core of providing a safe and healthful workplace," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "In this case, a tragic loss resulted from equipment that could easily have been guarded."

Two other-than-serious violations involved failing to consider safety and health standards for the refrigeration process and not including safety systems and functions in refrigeration operating procedures.

Pilgrim's has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Atlanta-East area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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