June 2, 2015
Chicken processing facility repeatedly
exposes workers to dangerous machinery hazards
OSHA proposes fines of more than $126K for Case Farms Processing
WINESBURG, Ohio — Less than two years after agreeing to address safety violations in a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Case Farms Processing Inc. exposed workers to the same dangerous machinery hazards at its Winesburg facility.
OSHA found one willful, four repeated, one serious and one other-than-serious violation at the facility during two follow-up inspections, which cited the company for 23 safety violations in 2011. OSHA initiated the follow-up inspections to verify that previously cited hazards had been corrected at the facility. The chicken producing and processing company faces proposed penalties of $126,500.
"Case Farms Processing continues to demonstrate that the safety and health of its workers is not a corporate priority," said Deborah Zubaty, area director of OSHA's Columbus office. "This inspection demonstrates that the company has failed to meet the goals outlined in the 2013 agreement. This is a disheartening setback for worker safety at this company."
OSHA's inspection found that machinery lacked proper safety mechanisms and workers faced amputation hazards* while operating saws and grinders. Additionally, sanitation workers were not included in company audits concerning machines starting up during service and maintenance. The company also failed to maintain an accurate log of worker injuries and illnesses. Machine hazards are one of the most frequently cited OSHA standards.
Headquartered in Morganton, North Carolina, Case Farms Processing operates facilities in Canton, Strasburg and Massillon, as well as Dudley, Goldsboro, Mount Olive and Troutman, North Carolina. The company processes 2.8 million chickens per week. It has more than 3,200 employees and produces more than 900 million pounds of fresh, partially cooked and frozen-for-export poultry products yearly.
Case Farms Processing has been inspected by OSHA 26 times, resulting in the issuance of multiple safety and health violations.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal 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 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 Columbus Area Office at 614-469-5582.
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: 15-1029-CHI
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