Latino Worker Dies Following Exposure to Nitrogen in Tanker Truck

The accident occurred at Michael Foods' Big Red Farms facility in Wakefield, Neb.

OSHA announced an enforcement case against Michael Foods Inc. stemming from a Latino worker's death. The 23-year-old worker was found unresponsive in a tanker truck at Michael Foods Inc.'s Big Red Farms facility in Wakefield, Neb. He was conducting sampling of the tank, which contained egg products and nitrogen. OSHA has cited the company for five serious safety violations, including exposing employees to nitrogen hazards.

"Confined spaces put workers at risk for serious injury and illness from hazards, such as poor atmospheric quality," said Bonita Winingham, OSHA's area director in Omaha. "This tragedy could have been prevented had the employer implemented basic safety precautions associated with confined spaces and nitrogen exposure."

OSHA found that Michael Foods failed to prevent employees from entering permit-required confined spaces. The company did not ensure that emergency services were proficient in confined space rescues and that appropriate equipment for a confined space rescue could be used to perform one quickly. The company also did not train workers on the health hazards related to atmospheric chemicals in the workplace; failed to evaluate respiratory hazards for employees sampling from nitrogen-filled tanks; and did not ensure employees wore appropriate eye protection when exposed to corrosive liquids, according to OSHA.

Bulwark FR Quiz

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2020

    September 2020

    Featuring:

    • WINTER HAZARDS
      Winter Hazards Preparation Should Kick Off in the Fall Months
    • OIL & GAS
      How Safety Has Become a Priority for the Oil Sector
    • COMBUSTIBLE DUST
      Protecting the Plant from Catastrophic Combustible Dust Explosions
    • FACILITY SAFETY
      Empowering Workers in an Uncertain World
    View This Issue