The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Cargill Meat Solutions, Dodge City, Kan., with two repeat and 23 serious violations for exposing workers to numerous occupational hazards. Proposed fines total $176,400 following a combined safety and health inspection at the facility.

OSHA’s inspection of the beef processing and packaging company was initiated in November 2010 under the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting Program, through which OSHA focuses on employers with higher-than-average occupational injury and illness rates.

“Many hazards at this facility existed for a long period of time, and there is just no excuse for exposing workers to them,” says Charles Adkins, OSHA’s regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. “It is imperative that employers take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards and provide a safe working environment for all of their employees.”

The two repeat violations address a lack of machinery anchorage and improperly used flexible cords. Similar citations were issued in February 2007 and again in October 2009. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

The 23 serious violations address hazards associated with process safety management, fall protection, access and egress, lockout/tagout of energy sources, material storage, personal protective equipment (PPE), machine guarding, electrical deficiencies, compressed gas cylinders, and hazard communication. 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.

Cargill Meat Solutions had 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Wichita, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA’s Wichita Area Office; telephone (316) 269-6644. To report workplace incidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).