September 15, 2020
JBS US beef plant faces US$15,615 fine for on-site COVID-19 infections
For its failure to protect its employees from COVID-19 infections, a JBS beef plant in Greeley, Colorado, the United States, is facing a fine of US$15,615, as proposed by the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Close to 300 employees at the plant were infected since March and seven had died. Six of the fatalities worked in the beef plant and the seventh was assigned to the JBS USA corporate headquarters that is located nearby.
JBS USA, which operates as Swift Beef Co., argued that "the OSHA citation is entirely without merit."
The company said: "It attempts to impose a standard that did not exist in March as we fought the pandemic with no guidance. When OSHA finally provided guidance in late April, one month after the beginning of the citation time period, our previously implemented preventive measures largely exceeded any of their recommendations."
JBS Foods has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
- Food Safety News