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OSHA fines Nebraska beef plant

TAGS: Business
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Employee suffered severe burns caused by anhydrous ammonia exposure.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Noah’s Ark Processors LLC — based in Hastings, Neb. — for process safety management violations after an employee suffered severe burns caused by exposure to anhydrous ammonia, a gas used as an industrial refrigerant. The beef processing plant faces penalties of $182,926 for 16 serious safety violations, according to a statement from OSHA.

OSHA cited the company for process safety management (PSM) program deficiencies, failure to guard roof openings and electrical safety and lockout/tagout violations. The PSM standard requires employers to properly manage hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals.

"When employers fail to properly document procedures and control highly hazardous chemicals, there is the potential for unintentional releases that can result in serious and fatal injuries," OSHA Omaha, Neb., area director Jeff Funke said. "By implementing and sustaining workplace safety and health programs, employers can monitor their processes to ensure safeguards are in place to protect workers."

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education and assistance.

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