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OSHA Proposes Nearly $400k in Penalties for Case Farms Winesburg, Ohio, Plant

Feb. 9, 2024
Troutman, N.C.-based chicken processor cited for lockout/tagout, machine guarding, fall and electrical hazards at Ohio plant.

Chicken processor Case Farms faces $393,449 in proposed fines from the Dept. of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for violations of worker safety regulations at its Winesburg, Ohio, processing plant.

OSHA inspectors found during a follow-up inspection on Aug. 7, 2023, machine-guarding and trip-and-fall hazards in the plant’s live-hang department, according to an OSHA release on the violations — hazards that OSHA claims were substantially similar to prior violations by the facility.

In the end, Case Farms was cited for three repeat, seven serious and four other-than-serious violations for not using required lockout/tagout procedures or training workers on such procedures, having inadequate machine guarding to protect workers from contact with operating machine parts, and exposing workers to fall and electrical hazards.

UPDATE (Feb. 9, 2024, 1:00 p.m. Central): Case Farms Aggressively Defends Winesburg Facility Against OSHA Claims

Case Farms is headquartered in Troutman, N.C., and its Winesburg facility employs 576 workers who process approximately 140,000 chickens per day, the OSHA release said. The company’s facilities, OSHA said, have been cited 70 times since 1988 — mostly related to machine guarding, lockout/tagout procedures, fall and electrical hazards, and processing safety management issues.

Case Farms has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the announcement stated.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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