OSHA Fines Ohio Meat Processor for Safety Failures Following Employee Injury

OSHA Fines Ohio Meat Processor for Safety Failures Following Employee Injury

Sugar Creek Packing Co. faces $277,904 in proposed penalties.

Following a recent investigation, OSHA proposed penalties totaling $277,904 to Ohio meat processing plant Sugar Creek Packing Co. The inspection took place after an employee suffered severe leg burns and other injuries after falling into a machine containing corrosive chemicals.

According to a release dated Nov. 29, OSHA's investigation revealed the plant failed to implement safety measures, such as lockout/tagout procedures. The company's negligence in providing chemically resistant clothing and adequate training for handling hazardous chemicals, also contributed to the injuries the worker sustained while performing maintenance work.

Sugar Creek Packing Co. previously faced OSHA violations dating back to 2014. Similar hazards arose in 2019 and 2022 at the Ohio facilities in Washington Court House and Fairfield. 

“Despite multiple employee injuries and repeated OSHA citations, Sugar Creek Packing Co. continues to ignore federal regulations and industry-recognized safety requirements to protect employees from harm, including amputation and other hazards,” OSHA Area Director Ken Montgomery in Cincinnati said in a statement. “The company’s recent workplace safety failures allowed an employee to suffer painful and preventable injuries. Sugar Creek must end its indifference toward worker safety immediately before another tragedy occurs.”

In response to the findings, OSHA has issued citations for two repeat, six serious and one other-than-serious violation against Sugar Creek Packing. Cited violations include failing to protect employees from hazardous equipment, not providing necessary personal protective equipment, inadequate hazard assessments and insufficient employee training on safety protocols.

Sugar Creek Packing Co. has sought an informal conference with OSHA to discuss the citations and potential abatement measures and may contest the findings before an independent review.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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