US Department of Labor's OSHA follow-up inspection finds Birdsboro Kosher
Farms Corp. still violating safety standards
BIRDSBORO, Pa. – After a follow-up inspection that began in December 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Birdsboro Kosher Farms Corp. for failing to correct previously cited serious safety violations found at the kosher poultry processing facility in Birdsboro. Following the inspection, the company faces $59,400 in proposed penalties.
"The safety of all workers, including vulnerable, non-English speaking Latinos employed at the Birdsboro facility, continues to be jeopardized by this company's repeated failure to correct these hazards," said Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA's Harrisburg Area Office. "It is imperative that this employer complete the necessary actions to address these unsafe conditions to ensure a safe and healthy workplace."
OSHA's inspection found four repeat, three serious and one other-than-serious safety violation. The repeat violations involve the company's failure to develop machine-specific procedures for preventing a machine from turning on during servicing; provide machine guarding; guard live electrical parts; and provide personal protective equipment for the eyes and face for employees exposed to electrical hazards. The repeat violations carry a $39,600 penalty. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
The serious violations, with an $18,810 penalty, were cited for failing to provide training to employees on safe maintenance of machines. The company was cited for not having a hearing conservation program to protect employees from hearing loss. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. Carrying a $990 penalty, an additional violation was cited for failing to keep required records.
In 2012, OSHA conducted previous inspections at the site when it operated under the name of MVP Kosher Foods LLC and issued 15 serious, two repeat, and four other-than-serious violations with fines totaling $140,000. Birdsboro Kosher Farms Corp. was formed in late 2012, and is a successor company to MVP Kosher Foods LLC.
Birdsboro Kosher Farms Corp. has 15 working days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Harrisburg, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call the Harrisburg Area Office at 717-782-3902 or OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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