OSHA fines Wayne Farms

Published 6:36 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A federal agency has issued $102,600 worth of fines for workplace safety violations against Wayne Farms’ processing plant in Jack.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration citation says that workers at the chicken producer’s Jack facility are exposed to safety and musculoskeletal hazards and have suffered serious injuries; are a higher risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome and other disorders that affect the nerves, muscles and tendons; and are exposed to dangerous machinery and fall hazards.

The citation, issued Oct. 27, outlines seven “serious” violations of OSHA law, with fines of $7,000 each; a repeat violation for failing to protect workers from a moving part of a machine during servicing, with a fine of $38,000; and two additional serious general duty clause violations for exposing employees on the deboning line to hazards, among others.

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An al.com story quoted Joseph Roesler, OSHA’s area director in Mobile, saying Wayne Farms “effectively concealed the extent to which these poultry workers were suffering work-related illnesses and injuries.”

Wayne Farms is the sixth largest vertically integrated chicken producer in the United States and produces products under the brand names of Dutch Quality House and Platinum Harvest. According to al.com OSHA has conducted 33 inspections at Wayne Farm facilities in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, with the most recent inspect at the Jack plant taking place in June 2011.