MOOREFIELD, W.Va. -- In less than 60 days, three employee injuries - including one worker who suffered the amputation of three fingers - brought federal inspectors to West Virginia poultry processing facilities operated by Pilgrim's Pride Corp., one of the world's largest chicken producers.
U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspections in April, May and June 2015 found that preventable safety violations caused the workers' injuries at Pilgrim's facilities on 214 S. Main St. and 129 Potomac Ave. in Moorefield. As a result, OSHA cited the company on September 11 for one repeat and three serious violations. Proposed fines total $46,825.
On April 28, 2015, an employee contacted an unguarded machine shaft while operating a conveyer system. Pulled around the shaft, the worker suffered a fractured arm. Two weeks later, on May 12, an employee fell on a concrete floor while refilling a machine with an inadequate step for employee access. A third worker had three fingers amputated when they caught in a blender while removing poultry from the machine on June 15.
'Amputations have lasting professional and personal consequences - and these injuries were needless and preventable,' said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office. 'Pilgrim's Pride must improve its injury and illness prevention program to identify and correct hazards before more worker injuries occur.'
To view the citations, visit
Headquartered in Greeley, Colorado, Pilgrim's Pride employs 35,000 workers in 12 U.S. states, Mexico and Puerto Rico. One of the world's largest chicken producers, the company sells fresh, prepared and frozen poultry under the Pilgrim's, Country Pride, Pierce, Gold Kist and Savoro brands in the U.S., Mexico, Asia and the Middle East to retailers, food-service distributors and restaurants.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Charleston office at 304-347-5937.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.