The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the meat packing facility in Hastings, Nebraska for nine serious violations and two willful violations.
The unnamed worker was asphyxiated when his clothing got caught in the drive roller of a hide belt.
Hasting Acquisition, doing business as Nebraska Prime Group, was hit with three proposed fines of $7000 for serious violations.
List of violations
Two related willful violations involve improper machine guarding – which exposes employees to amputation and strangulation hazards – and not supplying sufficient number of lockout devices for all servicing and maintenance employees to secure the energy sources of mechanical equipment.
The serious violations involved a failure to train workers on protecting themselves from hazards associated with loose clothing around moving equipment; conduct periodic inspections of energy control procedures; properly train workers in energy control procedures and prevent unauthorized alterations to forklifts.
Other serious violations include maintaining legible data-plates for forklifts; training and evaluating the competency of powered industrial truck operators; keeping powered trucks that are in need of repair out of operation; regularly inspecting forklifts; and correctly using electrical cords and cables.
The firm’s website says it is currently under construction but according to their LinkedIn profile, Nebraska Prime Group is a: “Custom Beef Processor specializing in Kosher. As a custom facility, we're able to handle many niche markets including source verified, organic, natural, export and more.
“Our facility in Hastings, NE is perfectly suited for any business that needs to secure a specialized source of beef.”
"It is unthinkable that an employer would allow employees to work in and around dangerous equipment that lacks machine guarding," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City.
"All employers must take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace.
Hastings Acquisition has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply with the proposed penalties, request a meeting with OSHA officials or contest the fines.