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Region 5 News Release: 11-1724-CHI
Dec. 8, 2011
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6976      312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Cargill Meat Solutions
in Milwaukee for violating process safety management procedures

MILWAUKEE – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. for 23 serious violations of OSHA's process safety management and fall protection standards at its Milwaukee ground beef production facility. OSHA initiated the inspection in June under a process safety management national emphasis program. Proposed fines total $146,400.

"Failing to follow process safety management procedures when using hazardous chemicals such as ammonia can put workers in serious danger," said George Yoksas, OSHA's area director in Milwaukee. "It is unacceptable for employers not to ensure that work environments are healthful and safe."

The violations include failing to develop normal operating procedures for startup of ammonia refrigeration systems; develop training procedures for routine, regular and temporary tasks; develop and implement procedures to maintain process equipment; review operating procedures for accuracy; readily provide operating procedures for ammonia refrigeration operators; annually inspect piping; conduct equipment inspections and testing at required intervals; correct deficiencies noted in an audit; perform investigations for each incident that occurred on system equipment; and provide a guard on an open-side floor. 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.

OSHA's standards contain specific requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using dangerous chemicals. Additional information is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/processsafetymanagement/index.html.

Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., headquartered in Wichita, Kan., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Cargill Inc. The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/cargillmeatsolutionscorporation_315121848_12_06_11.pdf*.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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.

In November, the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs filed an administrative complaint against Cargill Meat Solutions, a contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense, having found that the company systemically discriminated against more than 4,000 qualified female, white, black, Hispanic and Native American applicants who sought jobs at its Springdale, Ark., facility.

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 Milwaukee Area Office at 414-297-3315.

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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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.


* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.


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