OSHA says meat processor’s severe injury was preventable

Agency proposes nearly $70K in penalties

Posted March 3, 2016

An OSHA investigation was prompted after a worker at a Georgia meat processing plant suffered a severe abdominal injury caused by a saw. OSHA reported more than a dozen safety hazards at the plant and issued citations to the employer on February 26 for 15 serious safety violations.

According to OSHA, on December 3, 2015, a hydraulic saw lacerated the abdomen of a 36-year-old man, who was cutting meat. OSHA discovered that the saw’s safety cut-off switches were not functioning properly.

The agency cited the company for exposing workers to falls on platforms without rails; electric shock from improper wiring; and amputations from unguarded cutting blades. Additionally, OSHA found that the employer did not provide a fully functional eyewash station for workers handling leaking batteries. The company also failed to train workers on the specific procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing.

The company is facing proposed penalties of $67,270.

The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties 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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