Region 7 News Release: 11-534-KAN
April 18, 2011
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Tyson Fresh Meats in Nebraska
for process safety management deficiencies and other hazards
OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Tyson Fresh Meats in Lexington for one repeat and seven serious violations following combined safety and health inspections at the facility. Proposed penalties total $66,000.
OSHA's inspections of Tyson Fresh Meats, a red meat producer, were initiated in January under the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high occupational injury and illness rates, and its Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program. OSHA's PSM standard emphasizes the management of hazards associated with highly hazardous chemicals and establishes a comprehensive management program that integrates technologies, procedures and management practices.
"OSHA has a stringent PSM standard," said Charles E. Adkins, the agency's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "It is imperative that employers rigorously update and properly maintain each element of the process to minimize hazards, and that they provide an overall safe and healthful workplace for employees."
Four serious citations are for failing to guard a rotating shaft, using compressed air for cleaning at over 30 pounds per square inch, failing to cover an electrical fitting and failing to determine the concentration of carbon dioxide, a respiratory hazard. Three additional serious citations relate directly to the PSM: Mechanical integrity inspections of system relief valves were not made as frequently as established, either by the company or recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices. Deficiencies that had been identified in ammonia refrigeration systems were not corrected before further use or in a safe and timely manner. Appropriate checks and inspections were not performed for the installation of process valves. 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.
The repeat citation is similar to a PSM-related citation issued in May 2008 for the company's failure to address the co-location of gas-fired boilers and ammonia compressors. 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.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Omaha or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Omaha Area Office; telephone 402-553-0174. 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, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.