OSHA Pounds Pilgrim's Pride Chicken for Combustible Dust Hazards

"Pilgrim's Pride continues to allow combustible dust to accumulate on motors and electrical equipment, causing the potential for a fire or explosion," said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA's area director in Mobile, Ala.

Pilgrim's Pride Corp. in Enterprise, Ala., has been cited for six safety violations by OSHA following a March inspection. Penalties total $85,800.

Two repeat violations with $77,000 in penalties include allowing excessive accumulation of grain dust where a housekeeping program exists but is not followed or maintained, and allowing electrical components such as motors, outlets, drop lights, and controller equipment to be subject to the accumulation of combustible dust. The company was cited for both of these violations in August 2009 at its Gainesville, Ga., facility.

"Pilgrim's Pride continues to allow combustible dust to accumulate on motors and electrical equipment, causing the potential for a fire or explosion," said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA's area director in Mobile. "OSHA will not tolerate this type of irresponsibility when it comes to protecting workers."

Two serious violations with $6,600 in penalties include allowing a junction box to be uncovered and exposing workers to fall hazards by not having guardrails on fixed stairs.

Two other-than-serious violations with $2,200 were cited for not recording all required information about workplace injuries in the OSHA 300 logs for 2008 and 2009.

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