The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations and a $40,000 fine for Mountaire’s Selbyville poultry processing facility for five s violations after a worker lost a finger.
OSHA’s inspection began on June 3 after Mountaire reported that a worker suffered a finger amputation while operating a packaging machine.
Inspectors found serious violations associated with electrical and process safety management hazards, and deficiencies in the procedures meant to prevent accidental machine start-up or movement, known as lockout/tag out, a contributing factor in the amputation.
The inspection also found that workers were exposed to musculoskeletal stressors as they performed tasks requiring repetitive, forceful motion for extended periods of time, and often in awkward positions.
The agency issued one hazard alert letter for medical management practices that prevent appropriate standards of care, increase the likelihood of workers developing serious musculoskeletal disorders, restrict referrals to physicians, and discourage employees from reporting symptoms and injuries.
The other hazard alert letter warned about the company’s storage of incompatible chemicals.
“The combination of musculoskeletal stressors and inappropriate medical management practices at the Selbyville processing facility is harming workers, who are exposed to completely preventable injuries,” said Erin Patterson, area director of OSHA’s Wilmington office. “Musculoskeletal stressors remain prevalent in the poultry industry and employers must abate those hazards to protect the safety and health of their employees.”
The citation can be viewed at: https://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/MountaireFarmsInc_1152666.pdf
Mountaire has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.