OSHA Pounds Meat Manufacturer for Exposing Workers to Fall Hazards

Sigma Processed Meats Inc. has been cited for 16 serious and three repeat violations worth $204,800 in proposed penalties.

OSHA has cited Sigma Processed Meats Inc. for 16 serious and three repeat violations following an inspection that found workers were exposed to fall and other hazards at the company's processing plant in Seminole, Okla. Proposed penalties total $204,800.

OSHA's Oklahoma City Area Office began its investigation June 1 at the company's plant after receiving a complaint. Serious violations include failing to provide guardrails as fall protection for employees working on elevated walking/working surfaces, provide an adequate emergency action plan, provide personal protective equipment such as goggles or face shields, train employees on the use of hazardous chemicals, and address hazards created by deficiencies in the company's process safety management system for anhydrous ammonia. Anhydrous ammonia is used for the refrigeration system.

The repeat violations include failing to develop and implement a lockout/tagout program for isolation of energy sources as well as to provide training for employees on the use of lockout/tagout devices.

"Failure to effectively implement OSHA's safety and health regulations to protect workers from potential hazards could lead to serious injury or death. OSHA will not tolerate such negligence," said David Bates, OSHA's area director in Oklahoma City.

Sigma Processed Meats employs about 160 workers at the Seminole plant, which produces cold cut meats, cheese, creams, and frozen foods.

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