MD MOSH Issues $1M Penalty Against Poultry Processor For Safety Violations


Baltimore, MD (CompNewsNetwork) - Alexander M. Sanchez, Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, announced Friday that the department's Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) unit issued citations of major violations against Allen Family Foods, Inc., resulting in a total penalty of $1,034,000 - the largest penalty ever assessed by MOSH in a single inspection or investigation.

"This unprecedented penalty reinforces our commitment to protecting workers from preventable on-the-job injuries at Maryland workplaces, and particularly to improving safety practices in the poultry processing industry," Secretary Sanchez said.

"This particular employer has been a source of repeated health and safety violations over a number of years. I applaud the vigilance of our compliance officers and industrial hygienists in this case. We must hold repeat offenders accountable for failing to do all they can to ensure worker safety."

The penalty resulted from a MOSH inspection following an incident on December 10, 2009 at Allen's Hurlock Processing Facility in which an employee suffered a serious injury reaching beneath an unguarded conveyor belt.

Ron DeJuliis, Commissioner of Labor and Industry at DLLR, commented that it is critical that machines be properly guarded to protect employees from the hazards created by moving machine parts.

The inspection resulted in four citations alleging 51 violations of occupational safety and health laws, including one egregious violation and 15 willful violations.

Allen Family Foods has been inspected approximately 16 times since March 1998 by MOSH at two locations on the Eastern Shore. Out of the 16 inspections, 12 were unscheduled, and seven of these were accident investigations. Approximately 192 violations have been issued and sustained as a result of the previous inspections.

Prior to the issuance of this case, the largest penalty proposed by MOSH was for the 1989 collapse of the concrete bridge over the Baltimore Washington Parkway near Laurel. In that case citations were issued with a proposed penalty of $910,220. 

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