A Lycoming County, PA, wholesale meat processing business is facing $49,062 in civil penalties for violations found after an employee died when she fell or was pulled into a commercial meat grinder.
Economy Storage Locker Co. Inc. in Pennsdale, PA, is facing the fine after an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The investigation into the April 22 death of employee Jill Greninger found 11 serious violations, OSHA officials said.
No one saw Greninger, who was standing on stairs, go into the machine, Coroner Charles E. Kiessling said in April. A co-worker attracted by an odd sound turned it off, he said. Greninger was killed instantly, Kiessling said.
Operating the mixer/grinder with the lid open, exposing the operator to the rotating mixer paddles, was among the violations OSHA said it found.
The lid also had a 10-by-24-inch opening that also exposed employees to hazards, the report said.
Other violations, that go beyond the incident and discovered later, include:
• The rotating mixer blade on a steam kettle in the scrapple kitchen was unguarded.
• The rotating blade on the emulsifier in the mixer/grinder room was unguarded exposing employees to the possibility of being caught in and struck by it.
• The employer did not identify hazards that would require use of personal protective equipment.
• Employees in the smokehouse room were not provided or required to wear appropriate eye and face protection when dispensing a corrosive sanitizing chemical. Nor was an eyewash station provided, also.
• Operators of a forklift were not provided training and evaluated on their skill to operate the equipment.
• Missing breakers in several panel boxes in one room and an open 220-volt fuse box in another exposed employees to an electric shock hazard.
• Safety-related practices were not employed when work was performed on equipment or electrical circuits.
• The employer did not have or implement a written hazard communications program for employees exposed to chemicals.
• Employees did not receive effective training on the use of various chemical products.
There is an appeal process if Economy Locker wants to challenge the citations.