News 296 views update:Sep 8, 2009

OSHA fines poultry additive maker

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined Brigham Farms $69,500 for alleged safety violations at its Ball Ground, Ga., poultry additive facility.

The violations come from a previous inspection in August 2008 that revealed workers exposed to propionic acid and formaldehyde were not provided an eye wash and shower area, and the employer has not implemented a hazard communication plan when using chemicals such as propionic acid and formaldehyde, OSHA said.

The citations also include 11 alleged repeat violations with a proposed penalty of $26,400, including failure to conduct an initial process hazard analysis for production of a substance containing formaldehyde, OSHA said.

Additionally, the employer did not have a training program for using formaldehyde, failed to develop a respiratory protection program or provide chemical protective clothing and equipment, failed to have an action plan and emergency procedures, blocked exit routes, did not have a change room and exposed employees to chemicals without a medical surveillance program, OSHA claimed.

There also are 13 alleged serious violations with a proposed penalty of $21,200, one of which resulted in an employee suffering an amputation on an unguarded sealing machine. Other alleged violations include an unguarded floor hole, no stair or guardrails, broken stairs, missing rung and side rail on a ladder, exposure to amputation hazards, no written safety compilation for formaldehyde, no initial training on safety and health hazards, exposure to electrical shock from electrical panels, no written procedures for formaldehyde process equipment, engineering controls not implemented for overexposure to dust and exposing employees to dust two-and-a-half to 20 times the permissible exposure limit.

Natalie Berkhout

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