Nearly $80,000 in proposed penalties
OSHA has cited Omega Protein, Inc. with twenty-five safety and health violations based on an April inspection of the company’s processing plant in Moss Point, Mississippi. OSHA’s Jackson Area Office initiated the inspection after the death of a worker who had been caught in a rotating screw conveyor.
“This terrible incident could have been avoided if the employer had followed OSHA’s standards for energy control procedures,” said Clyde Payne, the agency’s area director in Jackson. “It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that employees are aware of and follow energy control procedures for their protection when working on any machinery.”
Twenty-one serious violations involve failing to have employees affix personal lockout devices to a group lockout device, develop a written respirator protection program, develop and document procedures for controlling hazardous energy, obtain audiograms annually, provide training for forklift operators, conduct annual noise training, properly secure compressed gas cylinders, and provide a suitable facility for quick eye and body drenching or flushing. OSHA also identified fall and electrical hazards; a lack of equipment guarding on rotating drums, fan blades and horizontal rotating shafts; and a lack of guarding on the belts and pulleys of the grinding screw and the hopper screw conveyor. Proposed penalties for the serious violations total $79,200.
Citations have been issued for four other-than-serious violations that include failing to provide signage for the exit door in the mechanic shop, caution signage for a low overhead hazard, strain relief for a fan’s flexible cord and a hazard warning label on ethylene glycol.
Omega Protein produces omega-3 fish oil and specialty fish meal products. The company’s headquarters are in Houston, Texas, and it has additional processing plants in Cameron and Abbeville, Louisiana, and Reedville, Virginia.