Sept. 14, 2016
OSHA fines Pennsylvania chicken processing company $317K for exposing
workers to health and safety hazards following employee amputation
Employer name: Birdsboro Kosher Farms Corp.
Inspection site: 1100 Lincoln Road, Birdsboro, Pennsylvania
Citations issued: On Sept. 2, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to the employer for two willful and eight serious safety and health violations.
Investigation findings: OSHA initiated an inspection on April 2, 2016, after receiving a report that a worker suffered a thumb amputation while operating a mixing machine at Birdsboro Kosher Farms. At that time, the agency also initiated follow-ups to previous OSHA inspections conducted in 2013, 2014 and 2015 to ensure the workplace was free of the previously cited workplace hazards. In its inspection, OSHA found a deficient system for protecting workers from the hazards associated with the unexpected start-up of machinery and issued the willful citations.
The serious violations included uncovered floor holes, a deficient hearing conservation program, inadequate egress signage, the company's failure to secure compressed gas cylinders, a failure to provide sanitary personal protective equipment or specialty foot protection at no cost to employees, and failure to post permit-required confined space signs.
Quote: "Birdsboro Kosher Farms is leaving its employees vulnerable to a variety of safety and health hazards that can cause serious injuries," said Timothy Braun, acting OSHA area director in Harrisburg. "It is critical that the company take appropriate steps to ensure worker protection at its facility. Anything less is unacceptable."
Proposed penalties: $317,477
The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Harrisburg Area Office at 717-782-3902.
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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Release Number: 16-1839-PHI (OSHA 16-115 Birdsboro Kosher Farms Corp.)
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