OSHA scratches surface, finds unexpected chicken problems

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Some companies are careless, some are unlucky. Apparently Case Farm Chickens is both. Not only is the company facing $288,000 in fines for 61 OSHA violations, but it experienced an ammonia leak the day OSHA inspectors showed up at its Wineburg facility. And yes, OSHA found Case Farm’s response to the leak inadequate.

The slate of charges include 56 serious violations, 30 of which related to safety hazards and 26 to health violations. Five other-than-serious violations filled out the bill.

Many of the problems stemmed from a lack of protective equipment that is supposed to shield workers from dangerous chemicals and various electrical hazards. OSHA found Case failed to properly train workers about potential workplace hazards.

The five other-than-serious health and safety citations involved failure to document required safety tests and investigations, record respirator fit tests and provide refresher training to designated first aid providers. Another violation was for deficient procedures designed to ensure that machinery couldn’t be activated while employees were performing maintenance.

Note: Employers with a history of frequent workplace injuries should proactively address workplace safety and health issues. Case Farms’ in­spection was performed under OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting Program, which investigates work sites with histories of frequent injuries and work-related illnesses.

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Edward Stern April 24, 2012 at 10:25 am

About 2500 years ago, the Book of Leviticus (19:14) stated: You shall not put a stumbling block before the blind. The ancients understood this as a broad principle. Yet, at Case Farms, “Many of the problems stemmed from a lack of protective equipment that is supposed to shield workers from dangerous chemicals and various electrical hazards.” And “OSHA found Case failed to properly train workers about potential workplace hazards.” These look like stumbling blocks to me.

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