In May 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited MB Consultants Ltd. (also operating under the name Murray’s Chickens) for several health violations, after the company failed to train its employees about hazardous chemical exposure.
At MB’s chicken processing plant in South Fallsburg, New York, workers disinfected chicken carcasses with chlorine bleach and Perasafe, an antimicrobial agent containing peracetic acid, hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid.
Workers complained to inspectors about respiratory symptoms and rashes, which were consistent with Perasafe’s harmful health effects. OSHA requires employers to train their staff on hazardous chemical procedure and provide training to help them avoid exposure, but MB Consultants failed to do so.
The processing plant also failed to train workers in OSHA-mandated lockout/tagout procedures, to keep workers from slicing or crushing their limbs by reaching into a machine that is being serviced or repaired. Two employees had already been injured attempting to clear jams in equipment without knowledge of proper procedures.
MB Consultants appealed the charges to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, but an Albany judge ruled against them this past May, arguing the citations would stand. The facility will be forced to pay the fines and make the required changes or risk further punitive actions.
Some employers work hard to avoid responsibility for safety hazards, even when it is clear that their employees are suffering. OSHA tries to monitor most workplaces, but it cannot catch every infraction.
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Employers must provide their workers with the training and information they need to do their job safely. If your boss is cutting corners, the attorneys at Spevack Law Firm want to hear from you. Call today to learn more about your rights as a worker and discuss your legal options.
[Did You Know: Peracetic acid exposure can lead to irritation in the throat and lungs, nausea, vomiting and severe burns on the skin.]
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