Region 6 News Release: USDL-OSHA-00-41-4-5
Wed., April 5, 2000
Contact: Diana Petterson
PHONE: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222
OSHA PROPOSES $138,275 PENALTY AGAINST MONFORT BEEF DIVISION IN CACTUS, TEXAS
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Monfort Beef Division in Cactus, Texas, for 23 alleged safety and health violations with proposed penalties of $138,275, announced the U.S. Department of Labor.
Monfort Beef Division, owned by Con Agra Beef Company in Greeley, Colo., employs about 2,500 employees at its Cactus, Texas, meat packing plant.
The alleged violations were discovered during a planned OSHA Site Specific Target Program inspection conducted on Oct. 5, 1999. The planned inspection is aimed at specific high-hazard industries on the basis of the company's high injury and illness rate.
OSHA cited the company with 14 serious, five repeat and four other-than-serious violations. The 14 serious included such violations as fork lift operators not wearing seat belts, defective pressure gauges and fall protection hazards from open-sided platforms and lack of failings; defective ladders remaining in service; fixed metal ladders with less than a 7-inch clearance and others. A serious violation is defined as one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The five repeat violations were for unguarded walkways and platforms and failing to have machine guards on all rotating parts. A number of the repeat violations are related to OSHA inspections conducted at Monfort facilities in Grand Island, Neb., and Greeley, Colo. A repeat violation is any standard, regulation, rule or order where upon reinspection, a substantially similar violations is found.
The four other-than-serious violations included not marking the load capacity rating on upstair storage; not providing non-slip treads on fixed stairs; not providing standard railings on all open sides of stairways; not identifying the location of fire extinguishers; not fully charging fire extinguishers and work rests adjusted more than allowed on grinding machinery. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call the neared OSHA office. OSHA's toll-free hotline may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers. The number is (800) 321-6742.
Monfort has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an information hearing with the Lubbock Area Director, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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