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Chicken Processor Cited for Workplace Violations

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. in Russellville, AL was cited Tuesday for 29 safety and health violations. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined the chicken-processing plant $135,500.

An investigation began in March after workers complained of ammonia odors, cuts and stabbing injuries. When OSHA inspectors observed a large number of safety hazards, the investigation was expanded.

According to Meatingplace, Pilgrim’s Pride received two repeat safety violations for failing to use lockout procedures and not correctly labeling containers with appropriate warnings. Fall hazards, 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 accounted for 24 more health violations.

A company spokesman told The Times Daily newspaper in Florence, AL that Pilgrim’s Pride is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace and would meet with OHSA to review the violations and correct deficiencies.

The company has 15 days to comply or then request a formal conference with the OSHA director or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

“Pilgrim’s is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for our employees.  We take these matters very seriously and we intend to meet with OSHA officials soon to review the violations and correct any deficiencies,” Pilgrim’s Pride told Food Safety News.

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