March 10, 2016
Alabama worker's injury at a Pilgrim's Pride Corp. processing plant
brings OSHA citations, penalties for the poultry producer
Agency finds reoccurring safety hazards at this facility
Employer name: Pilgrim's Pride Corp.
Investigation site: 2045 Highway 244, Russellville, Alabama 35653
Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to the employer on March 07 for one repeated and one serious safety violation.
Investigation findings: OSHA initiated the investigation after learning that a 53-year-old machine operator suffered a severe injury as he attempted to reassemble a chicken-part separating machine. As he worked on the machine, it started unexpectedly and amputated the middle finger on his left hand up to the first joint.
OSHA cited Pilgrim's Pride for failing to develop, document and train workers on the specific procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing. The employer was previously cited for this violation in 2010 at this location.
The serious citation relates to the employer improperly splicing electrical cords.
Quote: "This worker's unfortunate injury at Pilgrim's Pride could have been easily prevented. Management knew that employees were exposed to amputation hazards from machinery that could startup unexpectedly, yet they did nothing to fix the problem," said Ramona Morris, OSHA's area director in Birmingham. "I am disappointed that management would allow these hazards to reoccur."
Proposed penalties: $77,000
The citations can be viewed at:
Pilgrim's Pride is the world's second largest chicken producer, able to process more than 34 million birds per week. The company employs approximately 35,000 workers with operations in 12 states, Mexico and Puerto Rico. 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 Birmingham Area Office at 205-731-1534.
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: 16-399-ATL (53)
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