Case Farms' Canton facility
North Carolina-based Case Farms Processing Inc. has been slapped with a total of $1.4 million in fines from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 16 violations at its Canton facility.
A 17-year-old employee of a Case Farms subcontractor lost half of his left leg as he cleaned a liver-giblet chiller machine, according to OSHA reports. He was fired by the company when he explained that he was unable to return to work.
A 24-year-old employee was cleaning a fat sucker machine several weeks prior in March 2015, when a plunger attached to the machine cut off the tips of his middle and ring fingers on his right hand. He was later fired, as well.
“Our employees are our most important resource and we continue to focus on providing a safe and healthy work environment," Case Farms said in a written statement. "The citations are being reviewed, and we will work with OSHA, as we have in the past, to address the concerns outlined in the citations."
The company has until Oct. 13 to contest the fines.
Just last year, Case Farms was given an Achievement Award
from the Stark County Safety Council and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Division of Safety. The company's Canton facility had apparently cut its "incident rate" by 51 percent from 2012 to 2013.