Workplace safety issues can arise in all kinds of industries, even those the public depends on to prepare sources of food. It seems that a major chicken processing company is one of the latest food processing facilities to feel the power and wrath of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Case Farms Processing Inc. is currently facing $861,500 in penalties for workplace safety violations. The processor has also been put on OSHA’s “Severe Violator Enforcement Program,” which might prove to be worse than the fine as the company absorbs a major hit to its reputation.
OSHA’s announcement about Case Farms was made on Aug. 13, when the administration stated it had cited the processor for the following:
— Two willful safety violations– Twenty repeat safety violations– Thirty serious safety violations– Three “other-than-serious” safety violations
The announcement by OSHA said that Case Farms knew about amputation hazards, fall dangers and electrocution hazards within its facility. However, the company allegedly continued exposing its workforce to these potentially fatal and serious hazards. An OSHA employee called the chicken processing company an “outrageously dangerous place to work” and said that the company received over 350 health and safety violation citations during the past 25 years. Case Farms operates a facility in North Carolina, which has received many of these citations. The report indicates that OSHA began stepping up its inspections after workers suffered injuries and/or complained about the facility.
Employers are supposed to pay an honest wage for honest work, but that is not the end of their responsibility. They must also provide their workforce with a safe environment in which to perform. If you have been injured in your job with Case Farms or any other employer, seek a workers’ compensation attorney to talk about getting the benefits you are due.
Source: Occupational Health & Safety, “‘Outrageously Dangerous’ Ohio Chicken Processor Cited,” Aug. 14, 2015