Southern Hens Inc. cited by OSHA following worker fatality

March 13, 2013
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MOSELLE, Miss. — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration has cited Southern Hens Inc. with 43 safety and health violations following the death of a worker who slipped and fell into an unguarded screw conveyor while cleaning the conveyor at the company’s Moselle facility. OSHA initiated the inspection Sept. 9, 2012, in response to the fatality.

Thirty-seven serious safety and health violations carry a proposed penalty of $160,000.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Six other-than-serious safety and health violations do not carry monetary penalties. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

“Employers cannot allow workers to be exposed to unguarded equipment or other workplace hazards,” said Clyde Payne, OSHA’s area director in Jackson, Miss. “It is imperative that management take immediate action to eliminate the hazards identified in this inspection before another worker is injured or killed.”

The poultry processing plant has 15 business days from receipt of the 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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