Meatpacker JBS Fined $15,615 After Deadly Covid-19 Outbreak
JBS Foods, the world’s largest meat producer, was issued a $15,615 fine for failing to protect staff from the coronavirus in a Colorado facility where at least six workers have reportedly died.
The fine from the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, announced late Friday, came one day after U.S. regulators issued a penalty of $13,494 for a similar infraction by Smithfield Foods Inc., the first sanction against a meatpacker connected with a deadly Covid-19 outbreak.
The fine levied against Smithfield drew outrage as inadequate from two senators, a former safety official and a major national union. OSHA said it was the maximum allowed by law.
Sao Paulo-based JBS on Saturday called the OSHA citation “entirely without merit,” saying the federal agency was attempting to “impose a standard that did not exist in March” when the meat producer fought the pandemic “with no guidance.”
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