CARTHAGE, MO. – On Dec. 31, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) assessed a $9,639 fine to Butterball’s turkey processing facility in Carthage, Mo., for failing to comply with current coronavirus (COVID-19) standards.
The agency said the company violated a standard requiring companies to report a work-related fatality within eight hours of the employee’s death. The investigation was opened on July 10, 2020, and is being investigated by the OSHA office in Kansas City, Mo.
“We are aware of the citation from OSHA and are in the process of reviewing, but can provide no further comment at this time,” a Butterball spokesperson said. “Since the onset of the pandemic, we put in place special processes and procedures at all of our plants to slow the spread of the virus, including temperature taking. Butterball provided masks, increased sanitation, physical barriers on production lines, and reconfigured workspaces for social distancing. Butterball is an industry leader in workplace safety and we take the health and well-being of all of our team members seriously. We will continue to aggressively pursue initiatives that best protect our teams while they are at work.”
For open cases, in which a citation has been issued, the citation information may not be available for five days following receipt by the employer for federal inspections or for 30 days following receipt by the employer for state inspections.
In December, Butterball announced that 450 employees would be laid off from the Carthage plant starting in March 2021.