US Labor Department's OSHA fines DarPro $91,300 for 6 safety
violations at Lexington, Neb., food byproducts processing facility
LEXINGTON, Neb. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Darling International Inc., which operates as DarPro in Lexington, with six safety violations, including one repeat, for failing to properly adjust or provide adequate machine guarding at its food byproducts processing facility. Proposed penalties of $91,300 resulted from the January local emphasis program inspection for high-hazard general industry establishments, as identified by injury and illness rates in Nebraska.
"DarPro has a responsibility to recognize the hazards that exist in the workplace and ensure equipment is properly adjusted and maintained," said Bonita Winingham, OSHA's area director in Omaha. "Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health."
The repeat violation was issued for failing to properly adjust work rest and tongue guards on grinding machinery in the company's maintenance shop. Improperly adjusted guards can expose workers to amputations and other hazards. 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. A similar violation was cited in 2010 at the Atlantic, Mo., facility.
A total of four serious violations were cited, including failing to maintain bench grinders and improper storage of oxygen cylinders. The other two involve electrical safe work practices, including improperly marked circuit breakers and not effectively closing unused openings in electrical boxes. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
One other-than-serious citation was issued for failing to mark storage areas with approved load capacity limits. 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.
Darling International, headquartered in Irving, Texas, recycles used restaurant cooking oil and byproducts from the beef, pork and poultry processing industries into usable products.
Inspected by OSHA 22 times at various sites since 2005, Darling International has received several citations for violations, such as lack of fall protection, inadequate machine guarding and electrical safety hazards. The company has 15 days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Omaha Area Office at 402-553-0171.
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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.