LONE JACK, MO. — The US Department of Labor cited a Lone Jack, Mo.-based cattle processor a seventh time for endangering workers. The processor, Republic Foods, faces nearly $574,000 in fines.

The most recent citation involved exposure to high levels of carbon dioxide, which can arise from dry ice used to preserve meat.

“Exposing workers to high levels of carbon dioxide can cause serious illnesses and even death,” explained Karena Lorek, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) area director in Kansas City, Mo. “Republic Foods failed to increase employee monitoring or change engineering controls to reduce the exposure.”

OSHA’s records indicate that ZMDR LLC, the operator of Republic Foods, allowed employees to be exposed to carbon dioxide ranging from 7,000-10,000 parts per million in September 2022, which exceeded permissible exposure levels by 5,000 parts per million. The company received a citation for the same issue in November 2020 as well.

OSHA investigators identified two willful, four repeated and seven serious safety and health violations. Other citations besides exposure to carbon dioxide include exposure to slip, trip and fall hazards, failure to ensure required machine guarding was in place, and violation of electrical workplace safety standards.

From Republic Foods’ opening in 2020 to May 2022, the company has received 35 citations.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.