US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Corpus Christi,
Texas-based meat processing facility for serious, repeat violations
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued four serious and one repeat citation to Sam Kane Beef Processor Inc. following an inspection at the company's facility in Corpus Christi, where multiple safety hazards were found. Proposed penalties total $61,000.
"This company exposed its employees to preventable workplace safety hazards," said Michael Rivera, OSHA's area director in Corpus Christi. "OSHA standards must be followed in order to avoid injuries and fatalities."
OSHA's Corpus Christi Area Office initiated a safety and health inspection on Dec. 2, 2010, at the company's facility on Leopard Street. Sam Kane Beef Processor, which employs about 800 workers in Corpus Christi, slaughters cattle and processes beef for sale.
Serious violations include failing to ensure the safe and proper use of step ladders, to keep floor surfaces free of water to prevent slipping or sliding and to provide an adequate and timely emergency response plan for night shift workers. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
A repeat citation was issued for failing to provide guardrails for work areas more than 4 feet above the ground. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. In March 2010, the company was cited for a similar violation with penalties of $2,250.
Sam Kane Beef Processor has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Corpus Christi Area Office or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Corpus Christi Area Office at 361-888-3420. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audiotape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.