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Shuttered poultry processing plant cited by OSHA

By Joe Whitworth , 16-Aug-2012

MVP Kosher Foods has been cited for 21 violations by the US Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) despite ceasing operations at the site a month ago.

The poultry processing plant in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania was inspected in February in response to a complaint alleging the hazards but closed down without notice in mid-July.

OSHA proposed fines totalling $140,000 for “exposing workers to safety and health hazards” and two repeat violations.

When questioned how OSHA would recover any money now the firm has suspended operations, a spokeswoman said: “Employers have 15 working days to respond to citations, and beyond that we cannot comment on the case because it is still open.”

Proposed violations

The repeat violations, which carry $65,000 in penalties, include failing to provide the proper guards for a ladder way and platforms and the company was cited for the same violation in 2010.

Proposed penalties of $74,000 for 15 serious violations include failing to provide fixed stairs where required, develop lockout/tagout procedures and training to prevent the inadvertent start up of a machine, prevent employees from working on live electrical parts and provide personal protective equipment for employees working on energized equipment.

OSHA also lists four other-than-serious violations, with $1,000 in penalties, for failing to complete and post an OSHA 300 form on injuries and illnesses, conduct a hazard assessment, use equipment in accordance with listing and labeling, and close openings through which conductors enter boxes.

Indefinitely” suspended

When FoodProductionDaily.com tried contacting the MVP Kosher Foods’ Pennsylvania plant we reached an answering machine, which said the firm had suspended operations “indefinitely” at its sites in Pennsylvania and New York.

The company’s website is currently offline as it is “being redesigned at this time.”   

Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA's Harrisburg Area Office, said: "This company exposed its workers to unnecessary risk by not correcting these hazards.

"All workers have the right to a safe and healthful work environment."

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