July 27, 2016
OSHA cites Pilgrim's Pride for medical mismanagement, fall, machine
guarding and other safety, health hazards; proposes $78K in fines
Chicken producer faces 14 serious violations
Employer name: Pilgrim's Pride Corp.
Inspection site: 19740 Highway 90, Live Oak, Florida 32060
Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to the employer on July 25 for 14 serious and eight other-than-serious safety and health violations. This inspection fell under OSHA's Regional Emphasis Programs for Poultry Processing Facilities.
Investigation findings: The employer received serious violations for the following hazards:
- Failing to make timely medical referrals for workplace injuries.
- Not ensuring workers followed energy-control procedures to prevent unexpected machine start ups while cleaning equipment.
- Not ensuring portable ladders were used properly.
- Exposing employees to amputation hazards due to unguarded machine parts and equipment.
- Exposing workers to fall hazards up to 12 feet.
- Not ensuring employees use the proper hearing protection.
The other violations include not providing employee training concerning the hazards associated with using chemicals and failing to record on OSHA 300 log that 16 workers suffered hearing loss during 2015.
Proposed penalties: $78,175
Quote: "Referring an employee for medical attention in a timely manner is critical in order to prevent musculoskeletal disorders or further injury," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville. "Having employees visit a first-aid room for 'in-house treatment' over a course of weeks or months without a referral to a physician can lead to additional long-lasting injuries for employees. It is the employer's responsibility to ensure workers are protected from workplace injuries."
Pilgrim's Pride is one of the world's largest chicken producers with the capacity to process more than 34 million birds per week and over seven billion pounds of chicken annually. The company 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 Jacksonville Area Office at 904-232-2895.
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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Michael D'Aquino, 678-237-0630, firstname.lastname@example.org
Release Number: 16-1541-ATL (208)
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