Quality Pork Processors, Inc. is facing three alleged violations.
OSHA contends they could result in serious injury or even death for some employees, but Quality Pork is contesting the findings.
This isn't the slaughtering plant's first run-in with OSHA inspectors. The last complaint was in 2008 but did not result in a citation. There was a much more serious situation in 2007, when 12 workers became ill, due to a mysterious neurological illness.
Agencies other than OSHA were involved in that. Now, OSHA inspectors are concerned that correct procedures are not being followed to protect cleaning crews from potential serious injury. Again, the company disputes that.
According to OSHA documents, Quality Pork Processors Inc. was notified in late July that it is facing three "serious" safety violations stemming from a planned routine inspection on April 6 of this year.
An OSHA spokesperson said all of the violations are related to the hazardous control of energy involving a process known as "lockout/tagout."
More specifically, before workers on the last shift of the day go home, workers need to "lockout" and then tag the machines so that the cleaning crews know they are safe to clean -- the machines have been locked in place and have no more energy before they begin to clean them.
The safety standards are in place to ensure workers aren't caught in machinery, or cut, if the machine would suddenly turn on during the cleaning process.
"Our goal in any workplace inspection is to try to reduce any workplace hazard we might see. Our goal is if we find a hazard to prevent ways to reduce that hazard to other people," said James Honerman, OSHA spokesperson…
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Quality Pork Processors in Austin MN, processes pork and meat for the Hormel Company offering quality safe jobs in Austin, MN.
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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