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Another Worker Dies at NC Meat Plant

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In the second fatal incident this month at a North Carolina meat processing plant, a Fayetteville, NC man was killed when an ammonia line ruptured at the Mountaire Farms poultry plant in Lumber Bridge, NC. At least five others were injured, some in critical condition.

These two fatal incidents again raise questions about the safety of North Carolina’s meat processing industry, which were exposed in “The Cruelest Cuts,”a fine series of articles by the Charlotte Observer last year.

Advocates in North Carolina have argued that NC OSHA is failing to do enough to ensure the safety of the state’s workers. A bill in the state legislature went so far as to call for the removal of the state’s safety program from the Department of Labor. What will North Carolina OSHA do to strengthen protections for workers at the state’s meat processing and other industrial plants to ensure that employees need not risk their lives by going to work?

On another note, a representative for the US Chemical Safety Board stated that while the CSB would like to investigate this case, it doesn’t have sufficient manpower. With only 20 investigators around the country, they are already stretched to the limit. See the story here .