Company to Pay Big Fine in Meat Grinder Fatality

Pennsdale, PA – A female worker was killed when she fell into a meat grinder earlier this year, resulting in OSHA penalties of almost $50,000.

The Pennsylvania Real-Time News reports that 35-year-old Jill Greninger was pulled into a commercial meat grinder at a wholesale meat processing business.

According to the coroner, it is not known if Greninger, who was standing on stairs, fell into the hopper or a piece of her clothing got stuck and she was pulled into it. Apparently, no one saw it happen.

A co-worker turned off the machine after hearing an unusual sound. Greninger was killed instantly.

Economy Storage Locker Co. Inc. is being fined $49,062 in civil penalties. OSHA’s inspection and investigation found 11 serious violations.

Other violations, that go beyond the incident and discovered at later dates, include:

  • The rotating mixer blade on a steam kettle in the scrapple kitchen was unguarded.
  • The rotating blade on the emulsifier in the mixer/grinder room was unguarded exposing employees to the possibility of being caught in and struck by it.
  • The employer did not identify hazards that would require the use of personal protective equipment.
  • Employees in the smokehouse room were not provided or required to wear appropriate eye and face protection when dispensing a corrosive sanitizing chemical. Nor was an eyewash station provided, also.
  • Operators of a forklift were not provided training and evaluated on their skill to operate the equipment.
  • Missing breakers in several panel boxes in one room and an open 220-volt fuse box in another exposed employees to an electric shock hazard.
  • Safety-related practices were not employed when work was performed on equipment or electrical circuits.
  • The employer did not have or implement a written hazard communications program for employees exposed to chemicals.
  • Employees did not receive effective training on the use of various chemical products.

Economy Locker has 15 days to challenge the citations.