Case Farms faces $861,500 in fines from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for alleged safety violations.
According to OSHA, a February agency inspection of an Ohio Case Farms poultry processing facility found that the company was aware of safety issues at its facility, but continued to expose workers to hazardous conditions. Acting on a referral, OSHA cited the company on August 13 for two willful, 20 repeat, 30 serious and three other-than-serious safety and health violations. OSHA assessed $861,500 in penalties and added the company to the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
The February inspection, according to OSHA, found:
- Amputation hazards.
- Fall hazards due to non-functioning fall-arrest systems, unprotected platforms and wet work surfaces.
- Lack of personal protective equipment.
- Numerous violations of electrical safety standards.
- Improperly stored oxygen cylinders.
- Lack of emergency eye-wash stations.
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.
Case Farms, however, has been honored in recent history for its worker safety record at other facilities. In 2014 Case Farms earned the Award of Honor for worker safety and health performance from the Poultry Industry Safety, and Health Council. This award distinguishes companies who demonstrate a strong commitment to implementing innovative and effective employee safety and health programs. The award was presented to the Goldsboro, North Carolina, processing plant and hatchery during the 2014 National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry.
In addition, Case Farms’ Winesburg, Ohio feed mill was presented the Award of Merit.