The Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered the Iowa beef factory to pay a $ 957 fine after hundreds of workers fell ill with COVID-19 earlier this year.
The meat-packing plant was also not cited for health and safety violations – the fine was imposed for non-“serious” violations, as it did not keep the necessary diary of injuries and illnesses related to the workplace and did not submit such a diary within four hours. it is required by regulators.
The Associated Press was one of the first to report on OSHA’s fine, citing inspection reports published on Thursday. The AP added that OHSA initially fined the company $ 1
The beef premium in Iowa, located in Tama, was temporarily closed for two weeks in April after workers began reporting diseases. Subsequent tests conducted by the state Department of Health found that 338 employees had contracted with COVID-19, although the department only reported that 258 workers were ill and later blamed the discrepancy on incorrect records.
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Iowa OSHA soon faced a reaction during the inspection, as well as its reaction against the outbreak.
On May 21, six weeks after the plant closed and production resumed, Iowa OSHA inspectors observed Iowa Premium Beef Plant employees working nearby, without plastic barriers. The plant later installed such barriers by April 20 and “where possible,” the AP reported. At the time, the company also required employees to wear surgical-style masks, undergo temperature checks and exchange vacations.
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However, Tim Klein, the executive director of National Beef, which owns the plant, on Wednesday applauded the company for “quickly adapting our processes and protocols to improve safety,” according to a statement received by the AP.
Iowa regulators have also inspected four other meat processing plants where significant outbreaks have been reported, but have not released other quotes, the source said.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.