WASHINGTON – In a letter to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Loren Sweatt, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) asked for an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) into the death of a Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. employee at its Guntersville, Alabama, facility.
Earlier in January, Gabriel “Seth” Brutley, passed away following an elevator accident at the facility. At the time, a JBS spokesperson, the company that owns Pilgrim’s, said it was cooperating with local law enforcement and OSHA to determine the exact cause of death.
DeLauro said she is concerned that OSHA’s commitment to investigate the incident because of the lack of inspectors in the agency. The lawmaker detailed other incidents in recent years at this plant where other severe injuries had occurred.
“This tragic fatality comes after several other troubling incidents in recent years, according to OSHA’s own records,” DeLauro stated in her letter. “Despite this appalling track record on workplace safety, in April 2019 the plant sought, and received, a special waiver from the US Department of Agriculture to increase the speed of their poultry slaughter line. Increased line speeds can impact all workers in the plant, and, as you are aware, there is a growing body of data documenting the association between faster line speeds and worker injuries.”