Pilgrim’s has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for alleged safety violations at a poultry plant in Russellville, Alabama. The company faces a fine of up to $77,000 for the alleged incidents.
According to a news release from OSHA, the company is being cited for one repeated and one serious safety violation. The agency reported that a Pilgrim’s machine operator suffered a serious injury as he attempted to reassemble a separating machine. An investigation revealed that the machine unexpectedly started while he was working on the machine, and it amputated the middle finger on his left hand up to the first joint.
That alleged incident was the subject of the repeat violation, as that company plant had previously been cited in 2010 for failing to develop, document and train workers on the specific procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing, according to OSHA.
The company also received a serious violation citation as electrical cords were allegedly improperly spliced.
“Pilgrim’s is aware of the citation from OSHA at our Russellville, Alabama, poultry processing facility. We take these allegations seriously and are in the process of reviewing the citations internally,” the company said in a statement. “Our priority remains a safe work environment for our team members.”
Pilgrim’s has 15 days from receipt of the citations to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.