Dec. 11, 2014
Worker fatally injured in Greeley, Colorado,
after being caught in unguarded conveyor system
OSHA cites JBS USA LLC for 2 safety violations at meat packing plant
GREELEY, Colo. – A 54-year-old worker was fatally injured when his hair and arm caught in an unguarded conveyor system. His employer, JBS USA LLC, failed to protect workers from moving machine parts by properly guarding or de-energizing the equipment, an inspection in June 2014 by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found. The agency cited the meat packing plant for one repeated and one serious violation.
"When workers are exposed to unprotected moving equipment, they can become entangled quickly. Unfortunately, the consequences can be fatal," said Herb Gibson, OSHA's area director in Denver. "If JBS USA had followed simple, well-known safety practices, this tragic incident could have been prevented."
OSHA's Denver Area Office cited JBS USA for one repeated violation, with a $38,500 fine, for exposing workers to severe injuries from lack of machine guarding, such as crushed fingers or hands, burns, amputations or blindness. A repeated 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 Greeley plant was cited for a similar violation, and it became a final order in 2010.
OSHA cited a serious violation, with a $7,000 penalty, for failure to properly control energy sources on machinery during service and maintenance. 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 proposed penalties total $45,500. Doing business as JBS Swift, JBS USA employs about 3,100 workers in Greeley and operates facilities worldwide. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a 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). For northern Colorado, call the agency's Denver Area Office at 303-844-5285, and for southern Colorado, phone the agency's Englewood Area Office at 303-843-4500.
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.
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Release Number: 14-2221-DAL
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