OSHA Has Beef With Meat Packing Plant

OSHA cited Monfort Beef Division in Cactus, Texas, for 23 alleged safety and health violations with proposed penalties of $138,275.

Monfort Beef Division, owned by Con Agra Beef Co. in Greeley, Colo., employs about 2,500 employees at the Cactus, Texas meat packing plant.

The alleged violations were discovered during a planned OSHA Site Specific Target Program inspection conducted on Oct. 5, 1999.

The planned inspection is aimed at specific high-hazard industries on the basis of the company's high injury and illness rate.

OSHA cited the company with 14 serious violations such as fork lift operators not wearing seat belts, defective pressure gauges and fall protection hazards from open-sided platforms and lack of failings; defective ladders remaining in service; fixed metal ladders with less than a 7 inch clearance and others.

Monfort was also cited for unguarded walkways and platforms and failing to have machine guards on all rotating parts.

A number of the repeat violations are related to OSHA inspections conducted at Monfort facilities in Grand Island, Neb., and Greeley, Colo.

Monfort has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an information hearing or contest the citations.

Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call the nearest OSHA office.

OSHA's toll-free hotline may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers. The number is (800) 321-6742.

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