Pilgrims Pride fined about $46,000 for “preventable” worker injuries

MOOREFIELD, W.Va. — One of the world’s largest chicken producers was fined $46,000 Tuesday after three employee injuries in less than 60 days.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration inspectors came to West Virginia poultry processing facilities operated by Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. in the wake of the injuries, one of which led to the amputation of three fingers of one worker.

OSHA inspections in April, May and June found that preventable safety violations caused the workers’ injuries at Pilgrim’s facilities in Moorefiled. OSHA cited the company on September 11 for one repeat and three serious violations.

The amputation incident happened on June 15 when a worker had his hand caught in a blender removing poultry from a machine. The other two injuries resulted in a fractured arm on April 28, and a a fall on a concrete floor on May 12 while a worker operated a machine.

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

Headquartered in Greeley, Colo., Pilgrim’s Pride employs 35,000 workers in 12 U.S. states, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

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