Seaboard Foods failed to prevent workers from being exposed to repetitive motion injuries and did not record injuries that needed more than basic first aid at its plant in Guymon, Oklahoma, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleges.
OSHA, according to a press release, cited Seaboard Foods for one serious health violation for exposing workers to ergonomic hazards associated with repetitive motion and lifting. The citation follows a six-month OSHA inspection.
The company now faces $27,306 in proposed penalties. Additionally, OSHA issued ergonomic- and medical-related hazard alerts letters to the employer.
“Repetitive motion and overexertion can leave workers with chronic and life-changing medical conditions,” said OSHA Area Director Steven A. Kirby in Oklahoma City. “Employers who implement required workplace safety measures, track injuries and identify needed improvements can protect workers from suffering painful, debilitating injuries. We encourage workers to contact us to understand their rights and urge employers to learn how to prevent musculoskeletal disorders.”
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are among the most frequently reported causes of lost or restricted work time. In 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported these disorders accounted for nearly one-third of all worker injury and illness cases.
Based in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, Seaboard Foods and its supporting operations are the nation’s second largest pig producer and fourth largest pork processor. It is also a 50% owner of Butterball, the nation’s largest turkey producer.
Seaboard Foods has 15 business days from receipt of citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
In November, Seaboard’s Guymon plant was one of nine pork plants in the United States that were permitted to operate at higher line speeds, as part of a yearlong trial.
Guymon is located in the Oklahoma panhandle.