Safety Woes at OH Chicken Plant

Monday, June 8, 2015 @ 06:06 PM gHale

Less than two years after agreeing to address safety violations, Case Farms Processing Inc. exposed workers to the same dangerous machinery hazards at its Winesburg, OH, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA found one willful, four repeated, one serious and one other-than-serious violation at the facility during two follow-up inspections, which cited the company for 23 safety violations in 2011.

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OSHA initiated the follow-up inspections to verify that previously cited hazards ended up corrected at the facility. The chicken producing and processing company faces proposed penalties of $126,500.

“Case Farms Processing continues to demonstrate that the safety and health of its workers is not a corporate priority,” said Deborah Zubaty, area director of OSHA’s Columbus office. “This inspection demonstrates that the company has failed to meet the goals outlined in the 2013 agreement. This is a disheartening setback for worker safety at this company.”

OSHA’s inspection found that machinery lacked proper safety mechanisms and workers faced amputation hazards while operating saws and grinders. Additionally, sanitation workers were not included in company audits concerning machines starting up during service and maintenance. The company also failed to maintain an accurate log of worker injuries and illnesses. Machine hazards are one of the most frequently cited OSHA standards.

Headquartered in Morganton, NC, Case Farms Processing operates facilities in Canton, Strasburg and Massillon, OH, as well as Dudley, Goldsboro, Mount Olive and Troutman, NC. The company processes 2.8 million chickens per week. It has more than 3,200 employees and produces more than 900 million pounds of fresh, partially cooked and frozen-for-export poultry products yearly.