Bloomberg Law
Sept. 10, 2020, 4:02 PMUpdated: Sept. 10, 2020, 7:52 PM

OSHA Fines Smithfield $13,494 Over Worker Infections, Deaths (2)

Fatima Hussein
Fatima Hussein
Legal Reporter

Smithfield Foods has been fined $13,494 for its failure to mitigate worker exposure to the coronavirus, the first such meatpacking company sanction imposed by OSHA during the pandemic.

Nearly 1,300 Smithfield employees tested positive for the coronavirus, 43 workers were hospitalized, and four workers died between March 22 and June 16, according to inspection documents.

OSHA issued the company’s Sioux Falls, S.D., location a “serious” general duty clause citation and the fine Sept. 8. Its recommended mitigation efforts include social distancing workers and staggering shifts and break times, according to those documents. The clause, specifically Section 5(a)(1) of the ...