When federal OSHA announced a crackdown on state-run safety agencies, it said many of them were issuing fines that didn’t serve as deterrents to companies. Now it appears at least one state has heard that message loud and clear.
Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) has issued a record $1.03 million fine to poultry processor Allen Family Foods.
MOSH inspected the company’s facility in Hurlock after an employee suffered a serious hand injury reaching beneath an unguarded conveyor belt.
State officials say Allen has ignored warnings to improve a dangerous workplace for more than a decade.
Allen Family Foods has been inspected 16 times at two locations in Maryland since 1998. Seven inspections were after incidents, and MOSH issued a total of 192 violations.
Other incidents have included cuts on employees’ hands and arms. Among previous citations against Allen were ones for lack of safety training.
Allen VP of human resources Tracy Morris said, “The citation in this case is not an accurate reflection of our safety record. Rather, we think it is the result of MOSH’s adoption of a more aggressive enforcement policy.”
The company plans to contest the fines.
The million-dollar fine is the result of 51 violations, including one categorized as egregious and 15 as willful.
It’s the largest MOSH fine in Maryland history.