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Region 7 News Release: 13-2470-KAN
Jan. 16, 2014
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:     312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

MFA Inc. cited by US Labor Department's OSHA
after worker fatally injured at Missouri feed and farm supplier

AURORA, Mo. – MFA Inc. has been cited for 13 serious safety violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration after a worker was fatally injured on Aug. 26 at the Aurora-based milling plant. The worker landed on a first floor concrete area after falling about 40 feet from a man lift used to transport materials in the facility.

"This was a terrible, preventable tragedy that underscores the importance of OSHA's standards. Employers are required to use equipment in accordance with manufacturer's specifications," said Barbara Theriot, OSHA's area director in Kansas City, Mo. "Employers are responsible for identifying hazards, providing safety precautions such as guard rails and ensuring workers follow proper procedures to prevent injury or death."

MFA Inc. has been cited for 13 serious violations, including: failing to guard open-sided floors throughout the plant with varying fall distances up to 20 feet, inadequate footing space on industrial ladders creating fall distances up to 125 feet, failing to inspect man lifts every 30 days, failing to have guarded belts and pulleys on machinery, and failing to use proper connectors, thus exposing workers to electrical conductors on motors.

Other violations included failing to have two exit doors, obstructed exits and unmarked and poorly lighted exit routes. The company also received a citation for failing to have an alarm system to warn workers of fires and other emergencies.

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.

Proposed fines total $91,000.

MFA Inc. is a milling plant that grinds products to be used in farm and pet foods. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and notice of proposed penalties to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. If a company does not file or contest within that period, it must abate the cited conditions within the period ordered in the citations and pay the proposed penalties.

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 Kansas City Area Office at 816-483-9531.

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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


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