A supplier for Kentucky Fried Chicken is in hot water after a 17-year-old contractor lost a leg and a 24-year-old employee lost two fingertip while cleaning the liver-giblet chiller and fat sucking machines.
Case Farms is being charged $1.4 million by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for worker health and safety violations. Including these two injuries, the Canton, Ohio-based chicken supplier faced 16 safety violations.
The 24-year-old lost two fingertips while cleaning a fat sucker machine on March 25. The 17-year-old contractor was cleaning the liver-giblet chiller on April 7 and had to have his left leg amputated. Both workers were fired after the injuries.
“A teenager's life has been forever altered because of a devastating leg injury just weeks after starting this job,” David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, said in a statement. “How many injuries will it take before Case Farms stops exposing workers to dangerous machinery parts?”
Other investigations at this particular facility include issues with the ammonia refrigeration system and allegations that Case Farm workers were infected with campylobacter, a foodborne illness usually contracted from handling raw chicken.
“OSHA will continue to inspect, monitor, and penalize this company until it makes necessary improvements,” Michaels said. “They need to protect their workers, and they need to do it now.”