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This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for work injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by work injuries.
A Texas Meat Packing Plant is Fined $120,000 for 25 Alleged Safety ViolationsFriday, July 26th, 2013
Early this month the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined a meatpacking plant in Hereford, Texas, $120,000 for 25 alleged safety violations. Caviness Beef Packing Ltd. has 15 days to respond to the penalties.
Inspection at the Hereford facility was conducted by OSHA’s Lubbock District Office under the agency’s Process Safety Management (PSM) Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program. The intent of the inspection was to check on processes and equipment related to the use of the chemical anhydrous ammonia in the refrigeration system.
Penalties amounting to $118,000 were associated with 23 serious violations related to electrical, PSM, respiratory protection, and confined space standards as well as lockout-tagout of hazardous energy sources. Specific PSM violations include failure to:
- Come up with a written action plan which ensures worker involvement in the PSM program;
- Conduct tests and inspections of process equipment such as pressure vessels and compressors;
- Conduct an investigation after releasing ammonia from a leaking shaft seal on a compressor;
- Provide workers with the appropriate kind of respirator for releases of sodium hydroxide and chlorine;
- Implement management-of-change procedures related to the replacement of ammonia process equipment; and
- Conduct incident investigations within 48 hours after ammonia vapor releases from valves and pipes.
Serious violations are those in which there is a substantial probability that serious physical harm or death could result from a danger about which the employer knew or should have known.