A workplace accident can leave a family scrambling to make ends meet during the time that a worker is unable to perform their normal job duties. Most employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance to help these families get by after a workplace injury. While most companies enact safety training and procedures to help improve worker safety, sometimes these efforts do not prove sufficient to meet government guidelines.
Companies which fail to meet governmental standards can be fined or even face stiffer punishments in certain circumstances. The United States Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently decided that a Colorado-based company engaged in repeat safety violations that rose to a serious level. The company, Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., recently found itself cited for several safety violations after OSHA conducted an inspection just a few months ago.
The inspection came about as part of a concerted effort on OSHA’s part to improve chemical safety in facilities where this is an issue. Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. is based out of Greeley, Colorado, but the safety violations occurred in its Lufkin, Texas facility. At that facility, chicken is processed and then wholesale distribution occurs. The company conducts operations in 12 states in total. The safety violations which OSHA is alleging include failing to properly test process equipment according to manufacturer guidelines, ensuring that their equipment used for processing actually adheres to generally accepted good engineering practices and failure to properly label hazardous chemical containers.
Any time that a serious workplace injury occurs, it can seem like a tragedy. It can seem particularly tragic when an accident occurs due to a company’s failure to meet safety regulations. Workers who find themselves injured in such a workplace accident may wish to research their options for filing a workers’ compensation claim to make sure that their medical and related expenses are covered while they are unable to work because of their injuries.
Source: Food Quality News, “Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. facing nearly $100,000 fines,” Joe Whitworth, Dec. 13, 2012