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January 10, 2024
Nebraska Beef Ltd. facing $274K OSHA fine in amputation injury

Nebraska Beef Ltd. of Omaha, Nebraska, faces $274,569 in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) penalties following the agency’s investigation into an amputation injury, OSHA announced January 5. The agency cited Nebraska Beef with 2 willful and 11 serious safety and health violations. 

OSHA investigators determined that a worker’s fingertip got caught in a forklift attachment while helping a forklift operator position materials at the facility. The injury resulted in a medically necessitated amputation 3 weeks later. 

During an investigation, inspectors also found the following deficiencies in Nebraska Beef’s safety program:

  • Failure to isolate energy during service and maintenance of dock levelers,
  • Unsafe working surfaces,
  • Fall hazards on platforms and ladders,
  • No readily available eyewash and drenching facility,
  • Electrical hazards,
  • Lack of kits to handle chemical spills,
  • Improperly trained forklift operators, and
  • Unsafe battery maintenance. 

Failing to protect employees from electrocution hazards resulted in the employer’s two willful violations. Inspectors also found that the company failed to develop and employ lockout/tagout procedures for hydraulic dock plates and enclosures. OSHA announced in October that the agency’s control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) standard was its sixth most frequently cited standard, cited 2,554 times in fiscal year (FY) 2023.

“An employee of Nebraska Beef Ltd. suffered a permanent injury because the company knowingly ignored safety measures that are meant to prevent this very type of incident,” Matthew Thurlby, OSHA’s Omaha area office director, said in an agency statement. “The company must reassess its safety training and procedures immediately to keep other employees from suffering needless injuries.”

OSHA’s Omaha area office has had a Local Emphasis Program (LEP) for Meat Processing Industries since 2019 in response to a rise in the injury and illness rate among workers in Nebraska’s animal slaughtering and processing industry.

Nebraska Beef Ltd. processes and distributes U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-graded prime, choice, and select products for sale in grocery stores, club chains, wholesale distributors, and restaurants, according to OSHA.

Florida, Wisconsin roofers cited for fall hazards

OSHA has cited Florida and Wisconsin roofing contractors for fall protection violations, the agency announced January 5.

All Phase Roofing of Lake Park, Florida, faces $159,117 in OSHA penalties, and homebuilder Lennar Homes faces $8,929 in penalties for fall hazards observed at a residential building site in Boca Raton, Florida.

The agency cited All Phase Roofing with three repeat violations for:

  • Not using fall protection,
  • Failing to have a competent person provide an inspection of a worksite to ensure employees use the proper safety equipment before work begins, and
  • Allowing employees to perform roofing work before training them to recognize hazards and the proper use of fall protection equipment.

OSHA also cited All Phase Roofing with three serious violations for allowing workers to use an interior staircase that wasn’t equipped with a stair rail at the open edge; allowing workers to use the fly section of an extension ladder to access a roof; and not having a competent person train workers on the proper use, setup, and hazards associated with ladders.

The agency cited Lennar Homes with one serious violation for failing to have a competent person inspect the worksite to ensure employees had the proper safety equipment and that all stairwells inside the structure had stair rails before they were used.

The agency cited Bacilio Rios of Appleton, Wisconsin—operating as Chilos Construction—with four repeat violations and proposed penalties totaling $281,485 for fall hazards at an Appleton home site.

Violations included the company’s failure to provide fall protection equipment and train employees how to use it, its improper use of ladders, and its failure to train workers on hazards related to falls and ladders. The agency cited Rios for similar violations in October 2022, but the company failed to respond. 

OSHA’s construction industry fall protection standard has been the agency’s most frequently cited standard for 13 straight years. It cited 7,271 violations of the fall protection—general requirements standard (29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §1926.501) in FY 2023.

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