Pilgrim's Pride Russellville plant fined by O.S.H.A.

by Bryan Salvage
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BIRMINGHAM, ALA. – Pilgrim Pride Corp.’s Russellville, Ala., plant has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (O.S.H.A.) for 29 safety and health violations. Penalties total $135,500.

"This company has been cited numerous times in the last five years and should be aware of the safety and health measures that need to be addressed to protect its workers," said Roberto Sanchez, O.S.H.A. area director in Birmingham.

O.S.H.A.’s inspection began in March after it received a complaint concerning ammonia odors, trip and struck-by hazards, cuts and stabbing injuries. The investigation was expanded to all areas of the facility when inspectors observed a high number of safety hazards, according to an OSHA news release.

The company is being cited with two repeat safety violations with $35,000 in proposed penalties for failing to utilize lockout/tagout procedures and not labeling containers with the appropriate hazard warning. It is also being cited with 24 serious safety and health violations with $97,500 in proposed penalties. The hazards are associated with falls; unmarked fire exits; unsecured chlorine cylinders; unsafe batteries that exposed workers to acid burns and electrical shock; lack of machine guarding; lack of hand protection and electrical deficiencies.

Three other-than-serious citations with a $3,000 proposed penalty are being issued to the company for improper completion of the O.S.H.A. 300 logs.

Pilgrim’s Pride has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with the O.S.H.A. area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

“Pilgrim’s is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for our employees,” a company spokesman told MEATPOULTRY.com. “We take these matters very seriously and we intend to meet with O.S.H.A. officials soon to review the violations and correct any deficiencies.”
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