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Meat workers exposed to unexpected machine start-up

OSHAOSHA has cited Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. with three safety violations for failing to protect workers from unexpected start-up of machines at its Beardstown, Illinois pork processing facility. Proposed penalties total $114,000. OSHA initiated an inspection upon receiving a complaint alleging hazards.

"Cargill has a responsibility to provide training to workers about the hazards that exist in their facilities, and to respond to safety concerns expressed by workers," said Thomas Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria.

One willful violation is directing workers to perform maintenance and servicing on carbon dioxide equipment without first documenting lockout and tagout procedures designed to prevent unexpected energization.

One repeat violation is failing to train workers who operate equipment on procedures to properly control hazardous energy.  A similar violation was cited in May 2009 at the company's Nebraska City, Neb., facility.

One serious violation is failing to document and certify periodic inspections of lockout procedures for an older model of carbon dioxide equipment.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Cargill_Meat_Solutions_450214_111512.pdf.*

Cargill Meat Solutions, headquartered in Wichita, Kan., is a processor and distributor of fresh beef, pork and turkey, as well as cooked and marinated meats for retail and food service customers. It employs about 1,800 workers at its Beardstown facility.

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