Tyson Foods cited by OSHA for one repeat, nine serious violations at its Dakota City, Nebraska, red meat production facility

Cindy Allen

Cindy Allen

Jul 13, 2011 – OSHA

OMAHA, Nebraska , July 13, 2011 () – Tyson Foods Inc. in Dakota City has been cited for one repeat and nine serious violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These violations, carrying proposed penalties of $71,500, were cited following combined safety and health inspections at the facility.

OSHA's inspections of the red meat producer were initiated in May 2011 under the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high occupational injury and illness rates, and its Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program. OSHA's PSM standard emphasizes the management of dangers associated with highly hazardous chemicals, and establishes a comprehensive management program that integrates technologies, procedures and management practices.

"OSHA has a stringent PSM standard," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "It is imperative that employers rigorously update and properly maintain each element of the process to minimize hazards, and provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees."

Six of the serious violations involve failing to ensure fixed ladders were maintained in a safe condition; ensure personal protective equipment was worn where necessary; inspect lockout/tagout energy control procedures on an annual basis in the manner prescribed by the standard; maintain electrical installations in a safe condition; provide strain relief for electrical cords; and store incompatible chemicals in separate areas. The remaining three serious violations relate directly to the PSM, including failing to ensure that installed equipment met recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices relating to discharge locations; develop valve change out/installation procedures under the PSM mechanical integrity element; and ensure that nondestructive piping inspections were conducted within five years. 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.

The repeat violation is similar to a PSM-related violation issued in January 2011 at the company's Lexington facility for failing to inspect and ensure that installation of system relief valves was accomplished in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Omaha or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Omaha Area Office; telephone 402-553-0174. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

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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