JBS cited again, this time involving a death

GREELEY — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited JBS Foods Inc. in connection with the death of a worker at its Greeley facilities, an agency press release said.

The death occurred after a March 27 incident as an employee tried to install a paddlewheel used to churn chemicals to process animal hides. The paddlewheel, and a trolley and hoist being used to lift it, dropped. “The worker fell into a vat that contained the chemicals,” the release said.

OSHA investigators determined JBS “failed to adequately secure” the equipment. They cited JBS and its Swift Beef Co. operations for eight safety violations related to the event. The meat processor faces about $59,000 in fines.

JBS last month was cited several times and fined $175,000 in relation to incidents where a worker’s arm had to be amputated, a second who was lacerated while removing hides and a third exposed to a thermal burn hazard.

“The employees at this facility deserve better than to fear for their lives and their safety when they come to work,” OSHA Area Director Amanda Kupper in Denver said in the release.

Attempts to contact JBS and Swift weren’t immediately successful.

JBS has 15 business days from receipt of the citations, sent Monday, Sept. 27, to comply with or contest them, or ask to meet with Kupper.

The Greeley complex employs about 3,000 of JBS’ 59,000 North American and European workers and is its division headquarters. The unit is part of JBS SA in Brazil, the world’s largest processor of fresh beef and pork with about $50 billion in annual sales.

Editor’s note: after publication a JBS spokesperson sent a statement via email: “Team member health and safety is at the core of all our decisions, and we are committed to doing everything possible to protect our workforce and provide a safe environment for everyone. This tragic accident saddened all of us, and our heartfelt sympathies go out to the loved ones of our dedicated team member.”

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