Safety Report: Cargill Fined for Violations

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 @ 09:11 AM gHale

Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. is facing fines of $114,000 for three safety violations for failing to protect workers from unexpected start-up of machines at its Beardstown, IL, pork processing facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA initiated an inspection upon receiving a complaint alleging hazards.

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“Cargill has a responsibility to provide training to workers about the hazards that exist in their facilities, and to respond to safety concerns expressed by workers,” said Thomas Bielema, OSHA’s area director in Peoria.

One willful violation is directing workers to perform maintenance and servicing on carbon dioxide equipment without first documenting lockout and tagout procedures designed to prevent unexpected energization. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

One repeat violation is failing to train workers who operate equipment on procedures to properly control hazardous energy. 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. OSHA issued a similar violation in May 2009 at the company’s Nebraska City, Neb., facility.

One serious violation is failing to document and certify periodic inspections of lockout procedures for an older model of carbon dioxide equipment. 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.

Cargill Meat Solutions, headquartered in Wichita, KN, is a processor and distributor of fresh beef, pork and turkey, as well as cooked and marinated meats for retail and food service customers. It employs 1,800 workers at its Beardstown facility.

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