The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Kerry Inc. for one willful and eight serious safety violations and issued a fine of $223,525 after a worker died in a fall at the firm’s Greenville, Mo., liquid smoke production plant.
During an April 2019 inspection, the agency determined that Kerry failed to provide fall protection to workers at the Greenville site. In addition, OSHA found that the company did not designate, train, and educate a fire brigade on how to respond to emergencies; failed to evaluate hazards to gauge the need for personal protective equipment; did not provide self-contained breaking apparatuses; neglected to complete required safety data sheets; and failed to repair damaged parts. The company was entered into OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
“This preventable tragedy should remind all employers of their obligation to evaluate their training programs and safety procedures continually, and to provide refresher training to ensure that workers are prepared for potential emergencies,” Bill McDonald, the OSHA St. Louis Area Director, said in an agency release announcing the citations.
Kerry Inc. has 15 business days after receiving the citations to comply, request an informal conference with an OSHA area director, or contest the citations before an independent board.
The company announced plans in late 2016 to expand the Greenville liquid smoke plant by 20,650 sq ft. Kerry’s addition was slated to include sawdust receiving and storage areas, new production equipment, and office and conference space.