Tar Heel, N.C. — The N.C. Department of Labor imposed fines of more than $150,000 on a Tar Heel meat processor and its cleaning contractor.
Inspectors at the Division of Occupational Safety and Health determined that safety violations at Smithfield Packing Co. may have led to an accident in which a sanitation supervisor lost an arm.
The man, who has not been identified, was an employee of QSI, a company contracted to clean the plant. His employer was fined $138,600 and was cited with the following:
- Employees were exposed to ingoing nip-points, the point where two gears mesh, while cleaning and washing down rotating conveyors.
- Employees were not required to lock the equipment before they began their cleaning.
- Employees were not provided training on locking the equipment.
Smithfield Packing was fined $12,600 for not providing a safe working environment.