Following up with last weeks article on the Lumber Bridge ammonia explosion, the Mountaire Farms Plant has been found to have 15 workplace safety violations, nine of them serious. This is the same plant that killed one worker last week and injured several more due to an ammonia leak.
The Robeson county plant that’s about 16 miles south of Fayetteville was fined a total of $19,600 for violations cited in April, said Dolores Quesenberry, a state Labor Department spokeswoman. Those violations included sanitation issues and noise control, and the agency cited nine serious matters and six other violations.
Clifton Swain, 47, of Fayetteville, a maintenance employee, died after ammonia leaked when a refrigeration line ruptured. Swain was a retiree from the Air Force and had worked at the plant since 2001, the Fayetteville Observer reported. Quesenberry said that inspectors are at the plant trying to determine what happened.
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is not investigating the incident due to limited resources available to the group. They deem the accident worthy of investigation but can’t commit the extra resources toward further investigation.
The Chemical Safety Board has about 12 field investigators and they are all on as many other investigations currently. There is a team of six agency workers in Garner this week investigating an explosion at the Slim Jim plant that killed three workers.
Holding an internal employee meeting Monday, Mountaire Farms of Millsboro, Del., answered questions about this incident in which four other workers were also injured. Their names and injuries were not released. Two of them were sent to the burn center at UNC Hospitals.
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