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Region 7 News Release: 11-1427-KAN
July 16, 2012
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:            312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Nebraska Prime Group in Hastings, Neb.,
for 11 violations after worker fatality at meat packing facility

OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Hastings Acquisition LLC, which operates as Nebraska Prime Group, a meatpacking facility in Hastings, for 11 safety violations. OSHA opened an inspection after a worker had become caught in a machine and was asphyxiated on Jan. 18.

"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, Mo. "All employers must take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace."

The worker was asphyxiated when his clothing got caught in the drive roller of a hide belt. 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 . A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Nine serious violations involve 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; prevent unauthorized alterations