$67K Fine Issued to Chicken Processor for LOTO Hazards

The company failed to adequately guard processing machinery against contact with workers and provide workers with information and training on specific hazards involving disinfectants and other chemicals used in work areas, according to OSHA.

OSHA has cited MB Consultants Ltd., doing business as Murray's Chickens, for eight alleged violations of workplace safety and health standards at the company's South Fallsburg, N.Y., chicken processing facility. Proposed fines total $67,600 following a November 2011 inspection by OSHA's Albany Area Office.

OSHA found deficiencies in the facility's hazardous energy control, or "lockout/tagout" program, which is designed to prevent machinery from unintentionally starting up during maintenance. These include a lack of energy control procedures and failing to train workers on the program's purpose and functions. Additionally, the company failed to adequately guard processing machinery against contact with workers and provide workers with information and training on specific hazards involving disinfectants and other chemicals used in work areas. These conditions resulted in citations for six serious violations. The citations carry $32,600 in proposed fines.

MB Consultants also has been issued a citation for one repeat violation because all injuries and illnesses were not properly recorded, according to OSHA. Similar violations were cited in November 2010. The citation carries a $33,000 fine.

"The absence of adequate machine guarding and hazardous energy control procedures exposes workers to the dangers of lacerations, amputations, and crushing injuries should they become caught in operating or unexpectedly activated machinery," said Kimberly Castillon, OSHA's area director in Albany. "Such conditions should be addressed and abated quickly and effectively."

Two other-than-serious violations have been cited for failing to review illness and injury logs to ensure accuracy. The citations carry carries a fine of $2,000.

"One means of preventing hazards such as these is developing and maintaining an effective illness and injury prevention program in which management and employees work together to identify and prevent hazardous conditions," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.

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