OSHA cites companies for safety violations

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Dept. of the US Dept. of Labor cited two companies for worker health and safety violations.

Viscofan USA, based in Lisle, Illinois, was cited for one repeated and one serious safety violation following an OSHA investigation into reports of unsafe working conditions at an artificial case manufacturing facility in Danville. The May investigation found Viscofan exposed workers to slip, trip and fall hazards due to accumulated water on top of equipment where workers were walking. OSHA cited the company for this hazard in September of 2015 and November of 2014 at the same facility.

Additionally, Viscofan did not install, locate and identify portable fire extinguishers, which potentially exposed workers to smoke inhalation, burns and other injuries.

Viscofan faces $86,225 in proposed penalties, OSHA reported. Viscofan is the world’s leading producer and distributor of artificial casing for the meat industry. Viscofan operates additional casing manufacturing facilities in Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, Spain and Serbia.

Koch Foods of Mississippi LLC, a subsidiary of Park Ridge, Illinois-based Koch Foods Inc., also received citations for nine serious safety violations at a Morton, Mississippi poultry processing plant.

According to the agency, two workers suffered injuries in the spring of this year. In March, a 42-year-old man suffered a cut to his finger after his glove became caught in a conveyor. In April, a 23-year-old woman suffered two broken fingers on her right hand after her hand contacted a rotating shaft in a gizzard chiller. She was attempting to unjam the gizzards inside the chiller when her hand was caught.

Koch Foods is a leading poultry processor with additional facilities in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and Tennessee. The company is facing $88,632 in proposed penalties.

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