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Poultry Processing Plant in Contempt for Failure to Pay OSHA Fines



A federal court has found that a Pennsylvania poultry processing plant ignored sanctions from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and is in contempt for failing to pay $162,359 in fines for safety violations, the agency announced Friday.

Birdsboro Kosher Farms Corp. was cited for “numerous safety hazards, including willful, serious and repeated violations” two separate safety and health inspections in 2016 at the Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, poultry processing facility. The citations included violations related to federal lockout/tagout, hearing protection and personal protective equipment standards.

The company contested the citation with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. After a full hearing on the merits of the referrals, an administrative law judge upheld the initial referrals in 201

9, a decision that later became the commission’s final decision.

Birdsboro Kosher Farms sought review in the US Court of Appeals, and the Secretary of Labor filed a cross-petition for enforcement. In 2020, the Court of Appeals denied Birdsboro’s petition for review and granted the Secretary’s cross-petition for enforcement. The court ordered Birdsboro Kosher Farms to drop all unabated violations from the citation, submit abatement documentation to OSHA, and pay the remaining penalties.

Birdsboro ignored the court’s order and failed to pay the penalties or provide abatement certificates. A subsequent OSHA inspection revealed violations of some of the same standards underlying the court’s 2020 order and executive decree, according to OSHA.

In response, the Secretary of Labor filed a petition on March 18, 2022 for judgment of civil contempt. The court granted the petition and ordered Birdsboro to pay the outstanding penalties of $162,369 plus interest and fees or agree to a payment plan and certify the abatement of the violations, all within 20 days. Failure to comply will subject Birdsboro to such sanctions as the court deems necessary to enforce compliance with its judgment.


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