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Energy control failure leads to Miss. worker’s death

September 18, 2012
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OSHAOSHA has cited Omega Protein Inc. with 25 safety and health violations based on an inspection following the death of a worker who had been caught in a rotating screw conveyor at the company's processing plant in Moss Point.

"This terrible incident could have been avoided if the employer had followed OSHA's standards for energy control procedures," said Clyde Payne, the agency's area director in Jackson.

Twenty-one serious violations involve failing to have employees affix personal lockout devices to a group lockout device, develop a written respirator protection program, develop and document procedures for controlling hazardous energy, obtain audiograms annually, provide training for forklift operators, conduct annual noise training, properly secure compressed gas cylinders, and provide a suitable facility for quick eye and body drenching or flushing. OSHA also identified fall and electrical hazards; a lack of equipment guarding on rotating drums, fan blades and horizontal rotating shafts; and a lack of guarding on the belts and pulleys of the grinding screw and the hopper screw conveyor.

Citations have been issued for four other-than-serious violations that include failing to provide signage for the exit door in the mechanic shop, caution signage for a low overhead hazard, strain relief for a fan's flexible cord and a hazard warning label on ethylene glycol.

Proposed penalties for the serious violations total $79,200. Omega Protein produces omega-3 fish oil and specialty fish meal products. The company's headquarters are in Houston, Texas, and it has additional processing plants in Cameron and Abbeville, La., and Reedville, Va.

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