Amputation and Other Injuries Preventable at Chicken Facilities: OSHA

Pilgrim's Pride Corp. faces $46,825 in fines after an OSHA inspection in West Virginia.

Three employee injuries in less than 60 days at a plant in Moorefield, W.Va., brought OSHA inspectors out to Pilgrim's Pride Corp., one of the largest chicken producers in the world. According to a Sept. 22 OSHA news release, one of the workers suffered the amputation of three fingers. Proposed fines total $46,825.

OSHA cited the company for one repeat and three serious violations after it found that preventable safety violations caused the workers' injuries. The first incident occurred on April 28, 2015, when an employee contacted an unguarded machine shaft while operating a conveyer system. He suffered a fractured arm. Next, an employee fell on a concrete floor while refilling a machine with an inadequate step for employee access. Finally, a worker's fingers were amputated when they caught in a blender while removing poultry.

"Amputations have lasting professional and personal consequences – and these injuries were needless and preventable," said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office. "Pilgrim's Pride must improve its injury and illness prevention program to identify and correct hazards before more worker injuries occur."

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