GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced more than $ 1 million in fines against companies for coronavirus-related violations. Among those companies is the JBS Meatpacking Plant in Green Bay, which has been fined $ 13,494.
JBS, located at 1130 Lime Kiln, was the site of a major outbreak of COVID-19 in April. At one point, 262 employees tested positive for coronavirus. The company closed the plant for a period during the outbreak.
JBS states that the OSHA citation is “without merit”.
OSHA alleged that JBS violated the OSH Act of 1970. This act reads:
Every employer –
29 USC 654
Each of their employees shall be provided with a place of employment and employment that is free from recognized hazards that may or are likely to cause death or serious bodily harm to their employees;
Shall comply with the occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act.
Every employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations and orders issued in accordance with this Act, which apply to his own actions and conduct.
Action 2 News reached out to JBS for a statement. He replied:
The OSHA citation is completely without merit. It tries to implement a standard that was not present in March as we combated the epidemic without any guidance. When OSHA finally provided guidance in late April, our previously implemented preventive measures exceeded any extent of their recommendations. Every proposal proposed in the citation was implemented in Green Bay months ago. These abatements became informative in February. Today, they do not even meet our internal standards.
The coronavirus remains active in the Green Bay community and keeps the virus out of our facility. We have implemented hundreds of interventions to protect our employees, including examining all employees prior to entering the facility, repeated breakdowns to promote physical disturbances and the need to use masks and face shields, physical Obstacles include setting up UV disinfectant air hygiene. And plasma bipolar ionization technologies to neutralize potential viruses, and remove vulnerable populations from our facilities with full pay and benefits.
We ordered the masks on 19 March, before the CDC recommended their use on 3 April. Global supply was low and difficult to procure, but we began using masks as soon as they became available to more than 62,000 US team members. April We have our protocol reviewed by third-party experts and epidemiologists, and we now conduct randomized, routine surveillance trials of epidemiological team members to ensure that our preventive measures remain effective as the epidemic continues is. “
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