Feds Strike After Minor Terrifyingly Killed on the Job

(RepublicanDaily.org) – A poultry farm Hattiesburg, Mississippi is facing multiple violations of safety policies and up to $200,000 in fines after authorities conducted an investigation into an incident where a 16-year-old died in a horrible mishap involving the plant’s machinery.

Duvan Perez was killed in mid-July last year after being pulled into rotating shaft of one of the machines owned and operated by Mar-Jac Poultry, causing fatal injuries. Perez was only cleaning the machine when the incident occurred.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Labor, the incident is the plant’s second fatal accident in just over two years. Furthermore, an investigation into the matter revealed that Mar-Jac Poultry failed to implement the appropriate procedures for “lockout / tagout,” which are designed to prevent instances of machines accidentally being turned on or powered up. According to the OSHA, Mar-Jac should have had procedures in place to disconnect the machine from power when it is being cleaned or when the machine was not in use. Another safety alternative would have been to use a lockout / tagout device for the machine.

Following its investigation and assessment of the plant’s operations, OHSA found Mar-Jac Poultry to have committed 14 “serious” violations and three “other-than-serious” infractions. The DOL agency also recommended that Mar-Jac be fined a total of $212,646.

Mar-Jac Poultry, which is headquartered in Gainesville, Georgia, has 15 days to respond and file a dispute for the penalties. Such cases usually stay open for a number of years due to the litigation process that includes appeals, and often results in a settlement – with lowered fines – between OSHA and the violating party.

For its part, the poultry company has blamed a third-party company, Onin Staffing LLC, for the death. Mar-Jac released a statement a few days after Perez’s fatal accident, saying that the staffing company should not have hired the boy due his being underage.

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