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Meat Processing Plant Fined $28K Following Explosion

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Iowa OSHA cited Agri Star after two workers were hurt in an explosion at its Postville, IA meatpacking facility this February.

Meat processing firm Agri Star Meat & Poultry was issued several citations and a fine of $28,415 by Iowa OSHA after a deadly explosion occurred at the firm’s Postville, IA meatpacking plant this February, according to a report in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

The blast occurred around 3 p.m. on February 15 when a hose broke on a 100 lb tank, filling the room with gas, officials said in local media coverage at the time of the incident. Television news station KWWL said the tank was damaged by a forklift before the leak and explosion happened.

After the explosion, state occupational safety investigators uncovered four serious violations at the plant, the newspaper’s account said. Iowa OSHA found that water, manure, ice, dirt and other materials on the dock floor caused a worker operating the industrial truck to back into a vessel holding propane.

The company has already paid the penalties, the regulator told the newspaper.

Agri Star’s Postville plant was cited several times by the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration in recent years. The site received one serious violation in 2019 and was issued a penalty of $11,086, agency records show.

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