The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited JBS Foods in Greeley, Colorado, for allegedly failing to protect employees from exposure to the coronavirus. OSHA proposed $15,615 in penalties.

Based on a coronavirus-related inspection, OSHA cited the company – which operates as Swift Beef Company – for an alleged violation of the general duty clause for allegedly failing to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that can cause death or serious harm. The penalty assessed for the general duty clause violation is the maximum allowed by law. The company also allegedly failed to provide an authorized employee representative with injury and illness logs in a timely manner following OSHA’s May 2020 inspection.

"Employers need to take appropriate actions to protect their workers from the coronavirus," said OSHA Denver Area Director Amanda Kupper. "OSHA has meatpacking industry guidance and other resources to assist in worker protection."

OSHA guidance details proactive measures employers can take to protect workers from the coronavirus, such as social distancing measures and the use of physical barriers, face shields and face coverings when employees are unable to physically distance at least 6 feet from each other. Employers are also required to maintain injury and illness logs.

JBS Foods has 15 business days from receipt of the 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.

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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 help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. 

JBS, headquartered in Brazil, is a global leader in beef, pork and poultry production. It is the largest poultry company in the world, slaughtering 3.5 billion broilers annually.

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