Gov’t Fines Beef Processor, Contractor
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) _ A beef processor and a contractor have been fined nearly $100,000 for an accident that amputated the legs of a worker cleaning a meat grinder _ the second such accident in two years.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Wednesday cited the two firms for safety violations that contributed to the June 23, 2002 accident at S&C Beef Processors.
Montgomery-based S&C was fined $22,500 for one willful safety violation and BMS Contract Services was fined $77,000 for one serious and two repeat violations, said Ken Atha, OSHA’s acting state director.
S&C hired BMS to clean its processing machinery.
Workers dismantle the meat grinder and turn it over to BMS for cleaning. During a shift change, an S&C worker started the grinder without knowing a BMS employee was inside. The victim’s legs were caught in the machine and amputated.
Atha said the tragedy could have been prevented ``if just one of the companies″ had used its own lockout program and properly transferred control of the equipment.
BMS, based in Burlington, Iowa, was cited previously after similar violations resulted in an amputation at the same plant, OSHA officials said.
S&C, a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods, employs 550 workers in Montgomery.
Both companies can appeal OSHA’s findings and penalty.