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JBS Foods cited after death in chemical vat in Colorado

JBS and its Swift Beef Co. operations were cited for eight safety violations related to the accident and is facing $59,000 in fines

The JBS meat-packing plant in Greeley resumed operations April 24, 2020, after a brief closure due to a coronavirus outbreak. (John Frank, The Colorado Sun)

GREELEY — JBS Foods Inc. is facing about $59,000 in fines for the death of a worker who fell into a vat of chemicals used to process animal hides at one of the company’s meat processing facilities in northern Colorado.

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The employee at the Greeley plant fell into the vat March 27 while trying to install a paddlewheel used to churn the chemicals, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Investigators determined JBS failed to adequately secure a trolley and hoist that were being used to lift the paddlewheel.

JBS and its Swift Beef Co. operations were cited for eight safety violations related to the accident, The Greeley Tribune reported.

“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 a news release.

A JBS spokesperson said employee “health and safety is at the core of all our decisions,” and the company is committed to providing a safe environment at its facilities. JBS has 15 business days from receipt of the citations, sent Monday, to comply with or contest them, or to ask to meet with Kupper.

OSHA fined JBS $15,615 in September 2020 for failing to protect its employees in Greeley from COVID-19. Six workers there died and nearly 300 were infected.


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