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Lone Jack cattle processor again facing OSHA fines over workplace safety concerns

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Posted at 1:31 PM, Feb 06, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The United States Department of Labor has levied more than $570,000 in fines against a Lone Jack, Missouri, cattle processor.

According to an announcement Monday, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation found that the processor, ZMDR LLC, operating as Republic Foods, failed to implement an employee monitoring program and effective controls to limit workers’ exposure to carbon dioxide.

Investigators say the company has been cited seven times for violations since March 2020.

At issue is dry ice used at the facility to keep meat at safe temperatures. The ice emits carbon dioxide that, when not properly controlled, can cause various medical issues, both in the short and long term.

In addition to the carbon dioxide concerns, the $573,913 in fines include violations that the company exposed workers to slip, trip and fall hazards, failed to guard machines properly and violated electrical workplace safety standards.

As part of the announcement, the company has 15 days to comply, request a meeting with OSHA or initiate the process to contest the agency’s findings.

KSHB 41 News has requested a comment from Republic Foods. If one is made available, this story will be updated.

Last spring, Republic Foods was cited by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Safety Inspection Service that it violated the agency’s humane treatment of animals standards.

At the time of reporting, Republic Foods said that it had resolved the incidents in question “quickly and efficiently to the USDA’s satisfaction.”