Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Case Farms for multiple safety violations at its plant In Winesburg, Ohio.
Officials from OSHA opened a follow-up inspection under the agency's Severe Violator Enforcement Program at the Winesburg facility on August 7, 2023. OSHA found machine guarding and trip-and-fall hazards in the facility's live hang department that were substantially similar to violations cited in a previous case.
OSHA cited the company for three repeat, seven serious and four other-than-serious violations for not using required lockout/tagout procedures, not training workers in such procedures, a lack of machine guarding to protect workers from contact with operating machine parts and exposing workers to fall and electrical hazards. The processing plant faces $393,449 in proposed OSHA penalties.
The company 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.
"Case Farms Processing continues to ignore federal safety regulations to protect workers on the job. Returning to a facility to find similar violations identified in previous inspections demonstrates a callous disregard for the safety of workers," OSHA Area Director Larry Johnson in Columbus, Ohio, said in a press release. "Case Farms exposes its Winesburg workforce – mostly workers with limited English proficiency – to life altering injuries. The company must come into compliance immediately with the law."
Case Farms is headquartered in Troutman, North Carolina, and employees 3,500 workers nationwide and 576 employees at this Winesburg, Ohio facility that process about approximately 140,000 chickens daily.
These citations come just two months after the company was honored for clocking 3 million work hours without a lost-time accident at its Winesburg complex.