Chicken producer, Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., is facing $78,175 in fines for 22 health and safety violations at its Live Oak, FL, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA investigators issued citations for 14 serious and eight other-than-serious violations under its Regional Emphasis Programs for Poultry Processing Facilities program.

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Pilgrim’s Pride received serious violations for the following hazards:
• Failing to make timely medical referrals for workplace injuries
• Not ensuring workers followed energy-control procedures to prevent unexpected machine start ups while cleaning equipment
• Not ensuring portable ladders ended up used properly
• Exposing employees to amputation hazards due to unguarded machine parts and equipment
• Exposing workers to fall hazards up to 12 feet
• Not ensuring employees use the proper hearing protection

The other violations include not providing employee training concerning the hazards associated with using chemicals and failing to record on OSHA 300 log that 16 workers suffered hearing loss during 2015.

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“Referring an employee for medical attention in a timely manner is critical in order to prevent musculoskeletal disorders or further injury,” said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville. “Having employees visit a first-aid room for ‘in-house treatment’ over a course of weeks or months without a referral to a physician can lead to additional long-lasting injuries for employees. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure workers are protected from workplace injuries.”

Pilgrim’s Pride is one of the world’s largest chicken producers with the capacity to process more than 34 million birds per week and over seven billion pounds of chicken annually.

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