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Poultry company issued 43 citations for health and safety violations

Posted on by SST

Southern Hens Inc. received 43 federal health and safety citations after a worker was killed on the job in Moselle, Mississippi. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the citations after the investigation of the man's death.

The worker who died at the poultry plant slipped and fell into an unguarded screw conveyor while cleaning the conveyor, OSHA said. As a result of the fatality, OSHA opened an investigation as the federal organization does when worker injuries or deaths occur to determine whether or not any safety violations occurred at the fault of the employer.

"Employers cannot allow workers to be exposed to unguarded equipment or other workplace hazards," said OSHA's Area Director in Jackson, Mississippi, Clyde Payne. "It is imperative that management take immediate action to eliminate the hazards identified in this inspection before another worker is injured or killed."

Thirty-seven of the citations were for serious violations, meaning the company knew or should have known about the increased possibility of death or serious physical harm from a hazard. According to OSHA, the serious health and safety violations at the plant include failure to protect propane tanks from vehicular traffic, failure to provide personal protective equipment for employee and failing to evaluate hazards.

OSHA issued six other-than-serious violations including failure to have cover plates on electrical boxes, allow a metal duplex receptacle and flexible cord to be used instead of permanent wiring, not labeling containers of chlorinated sanitizer and refrigeration oil and failure to post not-an-exit sign in the evisceration room and steam cook area. Other-than-serious violations are directly related to job and safety health but are less likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.

Safety equipment can prevent injury
Southern Hens Inc. received a penalty of $160,000 for the serious violations as other-than-serious violations do not carry monetary penalties, according to OSHA. The company will have 15 business days to either appeal citations and or comply with the penalties and pay the fines.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe environment for employees at the job site. Items like heat detectors can alert workers when a potentially dangerous situation is present. Proper safety equipment as well as employee training can prevent injury to workers.

Industrial Safety News brought to you by Safety Systems Technology, Inc., leaders in fire and gas detection systems.

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