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OSHA cites National Frozen Foods amid COVID-19 outbreak

There could be a penalty of $2,000.

Posted: May 11, 2020 4:35 PM

SALEM, Ore. – National Frozen Foods is accused of failing to implement physical distancing measures at its Albany plant to protect workers from coronavirus. This comes after dozens of employees and people close to employees tested positive.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company after an inspection on April 20. The inspection was in response to multiple complaints about the facility, which produces frozen fruits and vegetables.

RELATED: NATIONAL FROZEN FOODS REPORTS 24 NEW CASES; PLANS TO REOPEN SOON

“We expect employers to follow the appropriate requirements to protect workers against the spread of this disease,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “Continuing to do business as usual at the expense of worker safety is not acceptable.”

According to the investigation, the company allowed 18 employees to work at a distance of two to four feet from each other, instead of the required six feet minimum. The employees were stationed nine at a time at frozen packaging lines during day and swing shifts.

This practice continued even after multiple employees tested positive for coronavirus, OSHA said.

The citation carries a proposed penalty of $2,000.

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