WASHINGTON – Case Farms is facing $23,100 in proposed fines for failing to report employee illness, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the US Dept. of Labor said.
OSHA opened an investigation into the Winesburg, Ohio-based poultry processor in October 2015 following a referral from another government agency. OSHA was evaluating record-keeping and employee exposure to Campylobacter, which humans can contract from touching animal feces. OSHA cited Case Farms for failing to:
- Complete an OSHA 301 form for each recordable injury or illness.
- Record an injury or illness within seven calendar days of occurrence.
- Provide requested records within four business hours.
Case Farms also received a Hazard Alert letter for failing to develop a program to train employees on ways to minimize their exposure to Campylobacter.
The new penalties come as Case Farms contests another $1.8 million in proposed fines for previous health and safety violations following inspections at the company’s facilities in Winesburg and Canton. OSHA placed Case Farms in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program in August 2015.
In December 2015 Case Farms responded to the citations, saying the company disagreed with “the negative characterizations that have been made about our company and our employees. We value our employees and are committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment.”
Case Farms owns facilities in Canton, Strasburg, Massillon and Winesburg, Ohio. The company’s North Carolina operations are in Dudley, Goldsboro, Mount Olive and Morganton. The company processes more than 900 million lbs. of poultry products annually for foodservice and retail markets and employs 3,200 workers.