Amputation at Beef Manufacturing Facility Carries $45,500 in Penalties

Serious and repeat citations were issued for failing to ensure that lockout/tagout devices were used by authorized employees to de-energize a machine.

OSHA has cited manufacturer Fremont Beef Co. in Fremont, Neb., following a safety inspection at the facility, which was initiated in February in response to a report of an amputation. Citations cover one serious, one repeat and one other-than-serious violation. Proposed penalties total $45,500.

"It is the responsibility of every employer to provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "Employers must make safety priority number one and take all necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace."

The serious citation is for failing to ensure that lockout/tagout devices were used by authorized employees to de-energize a machine. 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.

The repeat citation is similar to a citation issued in June 2009 for this company's failure to ensure affected employees were instructed on lockout/tagout energy control procedures. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited 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 other-than-serious citation is for failing to properly record injuries and illnesses. 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.

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