A teenaged employee at the Mar-Jac Poultry Hattiesburg, Miss., processing plant, died while performing sanitation duties last week, according to local news reports citing a release distributed by the company — turning the spotlight even brighter on the dangers of working in sanitation in the meat and poultry industry, as well as the practice of using younger employees to do potentially dangerous tasks.
The boy, 16, died of injuries sustained in the accident around 8 p.m. on July 14, and an investigation is ongoing as to the circumstances that led to the incident and the boy’s death. Family members of the boy had been notified, but his name is being withheld due to his age and the investigation. The cause of death has not yet been determined or announced, pending an autopsy.
Mar-Jac Poultry is cooperating with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on the investigation. This is reportedly the third fatality at the plant in the past three years, with two male employees having been killed in separate accidents six months apart in 2020.