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Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 99-219
Tuesday, Dec. 07, 1999
Contact: Clyde Payne
PHONE: (601) 965-4606
OSHA FINES POULTRY PROCESSOR $74,250 FOR SAFETY VIOLATIONS AT PLANTS IN MORTON AND MCCOMB
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited B.C. Rogers Processors, Inc., and proposed penalties totaling $74,250 for safety violations at the company's Morton and McComb, Miss., plants.
According to Clyde Payne, OSHA's Jackson area director, an inspection was begun after an employee was electrocuted at the Morton plant on June 18, 1999. During the inspection, OSHA determined that the plant's liver pump, which moves chicken parts through the plant for processing, was not electrically grounded.
Payne said, "Because electrical hazards are one of the top four workplace hazards, employers must take great care to protect workers who are exposed to electrical equipment or wiring."
The Morton plant was fined $19,200 for one serious citation which included several hazards involving electrical equipment, problems with defective gaskets on flip seals and flip seals that were not closed on weatherproof receptacles. Also cited were deficiencies in lockout procedures which ensure that hazardous energy is controlled during maintenance operations. In this case, personal lockout devices were not used by individual workers involved in group maintenance details.
An additional penalty of $47,500 was assessed against the Morton plant for one repeat violation involving unlabeled circuit breakers and exposed live parts in circuit breaker cabinets and for using flexible cords instead of fixed wiring at fixed motors and other equipment.
OSHA's inspection of the McComb plant was the result of a complaint about the company's failure to properly record occupational injuries and illnesses and its refusal to allow injured employees to see the plant doctor.
The McComb inspection, which began September 14, resulted in one repeat citation against the company for failing to log all work related injuries and illnesses. The citation carried a $7,500 penalty.
OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
Repeat violations occur when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
B.C. Rogers Processors, Inc., employs 1,000 workers at the Morton plant and another 500 at the McComb plant. The company has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Inspections of the worksites were conducted by OSHA's area office located at 3780 I-55 North, Suite 210, Jackson, Miss. 39211-6323; telephone: (601) 965-4606.
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