Safety Fines at Food Processing Plant

Thursday, March 7, 2013 @ 06:03 PM gHale


Darling International Inc., which operates as DarPro in Lexington, NE, is facing $91,300 in fines for six safety violations, including one repeat, for failing to properly adjust or provide adequate machine guarding at its food byproducts processing facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The fines were the result of the January local emphasis program inspection for high-hazard general industry establishments, as identified by injury and illness rates in Nebraska.

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“DarPro has a responsibility to recognize the hazards that exist in the workplace and ensure equipment is properly adjusted and maintained,” said Bonita Winingham, OSHA’s area director in Omaha. “Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health.”

The repeat violation was for failing to properly adjust work rest and tongue guards on grinding machinery in the company’s maintenance shop. Improperly adjusted guards can expose workers to amputations and other hazards. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously faced citations for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company faced a similar violation in 2010 at the Atlantic, MO, facility.

Four serious violations included two for failing to maintain bench grinders and improper storage of oxygen cylinders. The other two involve electrical safe work practices, including improperly marked circuit breakers and not effectively closing unused openings in electrical boxes. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

There was also one other-than-serious citation for failing to mark storage areas with approved load capacity limits. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

Darling International, headquartered in Irving, TX, recycles used restaurant cooking oil and byproducts from the beef, pork and poultry processing industries into usable products.

Inspected by OSHA 22 times at various sites since 2005, Darling International has received citations for violations, such as lack of fall protection, inadequate machine guarding and electrical safety hazards.



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