Nebraska Beef fined over forklift amputation

News Story
- 18 Jan 2024 ( #1162 ) - Omaha, NE, United States
1 min read

A US Department of Labor investigation into an amputation injury at a Nebraska Beef processing plant has recommended the company be fined USD274,000.

The investigation was triggered by a forklift accident in June 2023 that resulted in a serious hand injury that required the amputation of a fingertip.

Investigators from the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found a worker helping a forklift operator position materials had their fingertip caught in the forklift attachment. 

While investigating the employer-reported injury, OSHA found Nebraska Beef failed to develop and employ lockout/tagout procedures for hydraulic dock plates and enclosures. 

OSHA also found Nebraska Beef lacked safety procedures for materials handling and was exposing workers to live electrical parts. 

The safety authority cited the company for two willful and 11 serious violations and recommended USD274,569 in proposed penalties. 

“An employee of Nebraska Beef Ltd. suffered a permanent injury because the company knowingly ignored safety measures that are meant to prevent this very type of incident,” says OSHA Omaha area director Matthew Thurlby. 

“The company must reassess its safety training and procedures immediately to keep other employees from suffering needless injuries.”

Specifically, OSHA found the following deficiencies in its investigation:

  • Failure to isolate energy during service and maintenance of dock levelers;
  • Unsafe work surfaces;
  • Fall hazards on platforms and ladders;
  • No readily available eye wash and drenching facility;
  • Electrical hazards’
  • Lack of kits to handle chemical spills;
  • Improperly trained forklift operators; and
  • Unsafe battery maintenance. 
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