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Smithfield agrees to change health routines, education



Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp., the country's largest pork processor, has agreed to put together a team of companies and third-party experts to develop an infectious disease contingency plan that the company will implement at each of its nationwide processing facilities, in a agreement with the US Department of Labor.

The agreement comes after an inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in March 2020, where OSHA cited the company under the general duty clause for failing to protect workers from coronavirus risks at its Sioux Falls, South Dakota, plant.

In the spring of 2020, the company closed its Sioux Falls plant for 25 days in an attempt to limit a covid-1

9 outbreak. By June 16, 2020, 1,294 Smithfield workers had tested positive for covid-19 and four died.

As part of the agreement, Smithfield will pay the $ 13,494 penalty imposed.

"The terms of this settlement are intended to ensure that Smithfield employees receive the training and safeguards required to protect them from exposure to infectious diseases at their facilities, said Jennifer Rous, OSHA's Regional Administrator in Denver, in a statement. "What happened to this the facility was tragic and we must ensure that all steps in the agreement are followed to prevent a mass outbreak from happening again. "

The team of third party experts and company representatives will identify personal protective equipment and respiratory protection needs, address medical management functions through the facility's clinic at location and identify problems associated with business continuity.

Smithfield agreed to review the plan and revise it is needed to address potential new infectious diseases and guidance from federal, state and local public health authorities, as well as review annual union feedback on the plan and its procedures.


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