Cargill Cited for Safety Violations at Milwaukee Plant

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said that Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation-a subsidiary of Cargill-violated the agency's process safety management and fall protection standards at the company's beef production plant in Milwaukee.

Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation-a Wichita, Kansas-based subsidiary of Wayzata-based Cargill, Inc.,-has been cited by federal regulators for 23 safety violations at its Milwaukee ground beef production plant. The company faces a fine of $146,400.

During an inspection in June, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that the facility did not meet some of the agency's required standards for managing hazards associated with processes using dangerous chemicals. The company also violated OSHA's fall protection standards, according to the agency.

OSHA said that Cargill failed to develop normal operating procedures for starting ammonia refrigeration systems. The company also failed to conduct equipment inspections and testing at required times, correct deficiencies noted in an audit, and provide adequate fall protection for workers, among other things, according to OSHA.

Meanwhile, Cargill said that there were no employee injuries, ammonia releases, or food safety issues associated with the alleged violations, according to an Associated Press (AP) report. Cargill Meat Solutions spokesman Mike Martin told the AP that the alleged violations center primarily on documentation and that the company has an emergency response plan in place to address ammonia releases.

The company has 15 business days to either pay its fine or contest OSHA's findings.

Cargill is Minnesota's largest privately held company based on revenue, which totaled $119.5 billion in its fiscal year that ended in May. The company is a producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial, and industrial products and services.