DE Poultry Processor Cited After Worker Suffers Finger Amputation

Wilmington, DE ( - Employer name: Mountaire Farms Inc..
Inspection site: 55 Hosier Street, Selbyville, Delaware

Citations issued: On Dec. 2, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to the company's Selbyville poultry processing facility for five serious safety violations, including one issued as a violation of the OSH Act's general duty clause.

Hazard Alert Letters issued: Two hazard alert letters were issued on Dec. 2, 2016.

Investigation findings: OSHA's inspection began on June 3, 2016, after the employer reported that a worker suffered a finger amputation while operating a packaging machine.

Inspectors found serious violations associated with electrical and process safety management hazards, and deficiencies with the procedures meant to prevent accidental machine start-up or movement, known as lockout/tagout, which contributed to the amputation. They also found that workers were exposed to musculoskeletal stressors as they performed tasks requiring repetitive, forceful motion for extended periods of time, and often in awkward positions.

The agency issued one hazard alert letter for medical management practices in place at the facility that prevent appropriate standards of care, increase the likelihood of workers developing serious musculoskeletal disorders, restrict referrals to physicians, and discourage employees from reporting symptoms and injuries.

The other hazard alert letter warned about the company's storage of incompatible chemicals.

Quote: "The combination of musculoskeletal stressors and inappropriate medical management practices at the Selbyville processing facility is harming workers, who are exposed to completely preventable injuries," said Erin Patterson, area director of OSHA's Wilmington office. "Musculoskeletal stressors remain prevalent in the poultry industry and employers must abate those hazards to protect the safety and health of their employees."

Proposed penalties: $39,762

The citation can be viewed at:

The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission

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