BARRON, Wis. – Jennie-O Turkey Store Inc. faces $318,000 in fines after a worker's arm was amputated while cleaning machinery in a confined space at the company's Barron, Wis. Facility, said the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Jennie-O Turkey Store is a division of Hormel Foods Corp.
The incident occurred July 20, 2011. The employee's arm allegedly was caught in an energized turkey shackle line while the employee was working alone. Afterward, the employee had to walk down a flight of 25 stairs and 200 feet across the production floor to get help. OSHA launched an investigation following the accident.
Jennie-O received citations for four willful violations for not following OSHA's confined space regulations in the carbon dioxide tunnel room, the agency said. This includes failing to ensure that the carbon dioxide gas supply line was isolated and power to the shackle line was locked out before cleaning. Also, the company failed to provide an attendant during entry to the room and verify that electro-mechanical and atmospheric hazards were eliminated in the room before workers entered the space.
The company also was cited for seven serious violations that involve "failing to provide fall protection, provide rescue and emergency services equipment, develop procedures to summon rescue and emergency services, provide confined space entry procedures, prepare entry permits for the confined space, train employees and supervisors in entry permit procedures, and ensure that the entry supervisor performed required duties," OSHA said.
Four previous inspections of the Barron facility since 2004 resulted in citations for 12 violations, according the agency.