GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – After ‘terrible tragedies’ at multiple meat processing plants, including one in Green Bay, JBS Foods USA reached a settlement with OSHA.
According to the Department of Labor, four JBS Foods USA subsidiaries and affiliates have agreed to create a team of experts to develop and implement a plan regarding infectious disease preparation at seven of its meat processing facilities. The team will reportedly consist of company and third-party experts.
The settlement comes after two inspections where OSHA cited Swift Beef Co. in Colorado and JBS Green Bay Inc. for failing to protect workers from COVID-19 hazards.
“Employers are legally obligated to provide workers with a safe and healthful workplace, and the U.S. Department of Labor is committed to holding employers accountable when they fail to do so. Terrible tragedies occurred at JBS facilities in Greeley and Green Bay, and we will ensure that this agreement is in full force to prevent a mass outbreak from happening again,” said Regional Solicitor John Rainwater, in Dallas.
JBS’s plant in Green Bay was reportedly closed from April 26, 2020, to May 6, 2020. Officials say by August 12, 2020, 357 COVID cases were confirmed and two workers died of COVID-19.
The agreement will affect workers at the following facilities:
- Swift Beef Co. – Greeley, Colorado
- Swift Pork Co. – Beardstown, Illinois
- Swift Beef Co. – Grand Island, Nebraska
- Swift Beef Co. – Omaha, Nebraska
- JBS Souderton Inc. – Souderton, Pennsylvania
- Swift Beef Co. – Cactus, Texas
- JBS Green Bay Inc. – Green Bay, Wisconsin
Under the agreement, JBS subsidiaries and affiliates will use an updated ‘Safe Work Playbook’ to lower employee exposure to COVID-19 and infectious diseases.
Swift Beef Co. and JBS Green Bay Inc. will reportedly pay OSHA a penalty of $14,502. More information about OSHA can be found online.