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OSHA proposes another $125,000-plus fine for Case Farms
Chicken processor was fined $149,000 two years ago for similar violations
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration wants to fine a Northeast Ohio chicken processor $126,000.

OSHA is accusing Case Farms of “willful, repeated and serious” violations of rules meant to protect worker health and safety. It says the violations at Case’s Winesburg plant are many of the same ones the company was cited for in 2011 and promised to fix back in 2013. The company also paid a fine back then of $149,000.

The violations include a lack of proper safety mechanisms on saws and grinders that could lead to amputations. It also says the company didn’t maintain an accurate log of worker injuries and illnesses.

OSHA spokeswoman Rhonda Burke says the company is accused of violating an important trust.

LISTEN: Burke on legal responsibility

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"It's an employer's legal and moral responsibility to provide a safe workplace and to maintain equipment and other machinery in a safe manner, including things like manufacturer-installed safety guards should always be in place.''

Case employs a lot of Spanish-speaking workers, and Burke says it also is a company's responsiblility in such cases to ensure safety training is bilingual.

The company did not returns calls for comment. In a statement, the head of OSHA’s Columbus office calls the findings “a disheartening setback for worker safety at this company.”

Case, which also operates plants in Canton, Strasburg and Massillon, has 15 business days to respond to the charges.

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