OSHA clears Claxton Poultry after investigating worker's injury

Judge orders in favor of poultry company after investigating a 2016 workplace injury.

designer491, Bigstockphoto.com
designer491, Bigstockphoto.com

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHA) ruled in favor of Claxton Poultry, in a case regarding an industrial accident that occurred in September 2016.

In the 2016 incident, an employee at the company’s Claxton, Georgia, plant suffered a compound fracture when his arm was pulled into a conveyor.

According to a report from Business Insurance magazine, “The worker had been cleaning an area just before his shift ended when his hand was caught in the underside of a conveyor belt, shattering the bones in his arm.”

 An OSHA inspector in the Atlanta office reviewed the plant after the incident and alleged a “serious violation” for “failing to guard the ingoing nip-point on the conveyor,” which led to the accident, according to the ruling.

The inspector assessed a proposed penalty of $12,675 at the time of inspection.

The judge said the machinery was well protected, and that the nip-point that caught the employee’s hand was in a place that should have been inaccessible, if the employee had been cleaning the floor using the proper technique, according to a report.

The judge also said the employee had some differences in his statements. His initial statement said he was trying to grab a piece of meat before it hit the ground, while his second statement said it had already hit the ground.

There was no eyewitness to the accident.

The judge’s decision became a final order of the commission on October 2.

Claxton Poultry in other news

Claxton Poultry Farms will build a new chicken deboning and packaging facility at the Screven County Industrial Park in Sylvania, Georgia.

Construction of the $12 million, state-of-the-art facility is slated to begin before the end of 2018, and is expected to create 75 jobs, while contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars annually into the local economy, according to a press release from the Screven County Development Authority (SCDA).

Norman W. Fries, Sr. and Doris S. Fries founded the company in Savannah in 1949 with one employee and one truck.  Today, Mrs. Fries, as CEO and chairman, oversees the company that has grown into a global food manufacturer that processes approximately 2.35 million birds per week with the assistance of its 1,800 employees, 250 contract grower families and a fleet of more than 140 vehicles, according to a press release. According to WATT PoultryUSA’s 2018 Top Broiler Companies Survey, Claxton Poultry was ranked as the 19th largest broiler company in the United States at the end of 2017.

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