Meat processing plant fined $278K after worker falls into machine, suffering chemical burns

Dec. 4, 2023
The employee was changing bearings on a fan motor before falling into a tree hangar machine filled with corrosive chemicals.

An OSHA investigation has determined that Sugar Creek Packing Co. exposed employees to hazardous conditions. The investigation began after a worker at the meat processing plant suffered severe leg burns, degloving of their foot and other injuries earlier this year. The employee was changing bearings on a fan motor before falling into a tree hangar machine filled with corrosive chemicals. OSHA investigators discovered that Sugar Creek Packing lacked required lockout/tagout procedures, failed to make workers wear chemically resistant clothing, and did not properly train employees to perform maintenance activities on different types of equipment. The company was cited for two repeat and six serious violations and one other-than-serious violation. Sugar Creek also faces $277,904 in penalties.

In a recent quote, OSHA Area Director Ken Montgomery said, “Despite multiple employee injuries and repeated OSHA citations, Sugar Creek Packing Co. continues to ignore federal regulations and industry-recognized safety requirements to protect employees from harm, including amputation and other hazards. The company’s recent workplace safety failures allowed an employee to suffer painful and preventable injuries. Sugar Creek must end its indifference toward worker safety immediately before another tragedy occurs.”

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