A Pennsylvania meat packing company faces nearly $50,000 in fines for violations federal inspectors found after a worker was killed when she fell into a meat grinder earlier this year.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration on Oct. 23 levied $49,062 in civil penalties against the Economy Storage Locker Co. in Pennsdale, Pa., after finding 11 serious violations at the processing plant while investigating the April 22 death of Jill Greninger.

Grenninger, 35, was standing on a set of stairs that was on wheels when she either fell or was pulled into the large commercial meat grinder.

A co-worker who heard an unusual sound from the machine turned it off.

No one saw her and she died instantly, the medical examiner said.

Inspectors found that the grinder was being operated with an open lid, exposing the operator to the rotating mixer paddles.

The lid had a 10-by-24-inch opening that also exposed employees to hazards, the OSHA report said.

Violations

Other violations inspectors found at later dates 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
  • 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 communication program for employees exposed to chemicals
  • Employees did not receive effective training on the use of various chemical products

The company can appeal the fine and citations.

The most recent records available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in 2017, there were 5,147 fatal workplace injuries in the U.S., down slightly from 5,190 fatal injuries reported in 2016.


For more information, contact CBIA's Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).