The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has fined several meat processors and temporary employees over $ 265,000 for failing to protect COVID-19 workers, the agency said in a statement Wednesday.
Cal / OSHA initiated inspections of the meat processing plants after receiving complaints and reports from workers with COVID-19 and COVID-19 deaths at a plant. The agency said employers failed to ensure that workers had proper face coatings in production areas and that they did not carry out safe physical distancing procedures. the high proportion of positive cases and the alarming number of deaths among workers in the food industry, says Cal / OSHA manager Doug Parker in a statement. “These quotes are part of our enforcement work in these industries. More citations will be issued when violations are identified and inspections closed.
California Farms Meat Co. Inc., Central Valley Meat Holding Co., CLW Foods LLC, OWB Packers LLC, Smithfield Foods Inc. and three temporary employment agencies providing employees in the meat packaging industry were cited for various infringements. These included failure to:
- Ensure that workers wore face masks and social distances during breaks
- Provide effective training and instructions on how to spread COVID-1
- Disinfect plants properly
- Inform employees about possible exposure when de tested positive
- Installing barriers to protection
- Reporting diseases and a COVID-19 death within an eight-hour time frame
Investigators also said Smithfield failed to address at least 300 COVID-19 diseases – three of which were required hospital stays – at the factory in Vernon, California.
More insurance and work compensation news about the coronavirus crisis here .