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Workplace injuries: Chicken plant now in Severe Violator program

Disregard of worker safety by California employers is unacceptable. Unfortunately, there are times when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reveals the results of inspections at companies where workers are exposed to unsafe working environments for years and workplace injuries are common. OSHA recently declared one such a company in another state as a severe violator.

The chicken processor has several plants, and one was issued a total of 55 citations after an inspection in February. The three primary safety hazards at the chicken farm are reported to be falls, electrocutions and amputations. OSHA says previous agreements to address safety issues have not been carried out, and the company's 3,200 workers remain exposed to extremely dangerous conditions.

According to OSHA, the company has continued risking the lives of employees despite 350 citations for violations of safety and health regulations over the past 25 years. Employees may benefit from the fact that the company has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Going forward, follow-up inspections may bring about safer workplace environments, and if violations continue, legal action may follow.

In the meantime, California workers who are employed in locations where they are exposed to potentially injurious workplace conditions may find comfort in knowing that they are covered by the workers' compensation insurance fund. If employees suffer any workplace injuries, they will be entitled to pursue compensation. While such dangerous workplace environments are unacceptable, it is not always easy to find other positions, and knowing that medical expenses and lost wages will be covered by the insurance program may provide some relief.

Source: mbtmag.com, "OSHA Cites Case Farms For 55 Safety Violations", Andy Szal, Aug. 17, 2015

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