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Two Waterloo Area Employers Receive Workplace Safety and Health Citations and Penalties


For Immediate Release
Contacts: Mary Bryant (515) 281-3469
Kerry Koonce (515) 281-9646

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Two Waterloo Area Employers Receive Workplace Safety
and Health Citations and Penalties

DES MOINES - The Iowa Division of Labor Services has proposed citations and penalties against two Waterloo area employers for alleged multiple violations of state workplace safety and health standards. Beef Products Inc. (BPI) has been issued citations with proposed penalties of $1,116,000 and Modern Engineering and Piping (MEP) has been issued citations totaling $88,500 in penalties.

The Iowa Labor Services Division opened an investigation against both companies following an August 31, 2007 ammonia release that resulted in the death of one BPI employee. The accident investigation was later expanded to cover the entire BPI facility. As a result, citations were issued against BPI for 34 violations for failure to comply with process safety management, emergency response, respiratory protection, lockout, employee alarm system standards, deficiencies in ammonia pipe labeling, exit routes, the emergency action plan, deficiencies with a stair handrail, exit access width, confined space labeling, and an alloy steel chain sling.

MEP, a contractor working at the BPI facility, was cited for 7 violations for deficiencies in lockout, employee safety training, process safety management, respiratory protection and hazard communication violations.

Many of the proposed violations are directly related to the August 31, 2007 incident in which a high pressure liquid ammonia stop valve was not locked out. The stop valve was opened to transfer ammonia refrigerant and high pressure liquid ammonia was released into the employee work area resulting in one fatality and injuries to others.

Both employers have 15 working days, from receipt of the citation, to informally discuss and/or contest the citation.