OSHA Pounds Meat Manufacturer for Lockout Hazards

OSHA has cited C & F Packing Co. Inc. of Lake Villa, Ill., with two alleged willful and 12 serious violations for failing to ensure lockout procedures and guarding devices were applied to machinery. Proposed fines total $140,700.

"C & F Packing has demonstrated a disregard for worker safety by placing workers at risk for serious injury from machine rotating parts," said OSHA Area Director Diane M. Turek in Des Plaines, Ill. "That is not acceptable, and we are committed to seeing that the workers at this facility are provided a safe and healthy workplace."

OSHA initiated its inspection in April. As a result, the company was cited for two willful citations with proposed fines of $112,000 for failing to ensure lockout devices were applied to machinery when workers were performing tasks where lockout was required and for failing to ensure rotating parts on machinery were properly guarded. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

The serious violations with proposed penalties of $28,700 were cited for failing to provide standard railings on open-sided platforms, require protective eye and face wear for employees working with corrosive chemicals, conduct required periodic inspections of energy control procedures, provide training on lockout/tagout procedures, and ensure guards were affixed to machinery to cover dangerous areas. A serious citation is issued 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.

The company, which manufactures sausages, meats and frozen meat toppings, 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.

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