Cal/OSHA Fines Overhill Farms Inc. for Lack of COVID-19 Protections
1 Dead, More Than 20 Infected in Vernon Coronavirus Outbreak
Vernon, CA (September 8, 2020) – On September 8, Cal/OSHA issued citations to Overhill Farms Inc. and its temporary employment agency, Jobsource North America Inc., after a coronavirus outbreak at its Vernon plants led to 20 infections and one death. The frozen food manufacturer is facing more than $200,000 in penalties after failing to protect hundreds of employees from COVID-19 at its two facilities.
The employers failed to take proper precautions to keep employees safe. They were not required to work 6 feet away from each other, nor were there any barriers in place. In addition, Overhill Farms failed to investigate any of their employees’ COVID-19 infections. The coronavirus killed one employee and infected more than 20 others.
Cal/OSHA began investigating Overhill Farms and Jobsource on April 28 after receiving complaints related to COVID-19. Cal/OSHA found hundreds of employees were exposed to COVID-19 due to the lack of social distancing and safety procedures. At the larger facility, 330 employees of Overhill Farms and 60 employees of Jobsource were exposed to the virus. At the smaller facility, 80 Overhill Farms workers and 40 Jobsource employees were exposed.
The violations include $222,075 in proposed penalties to Overhill Farms and $214,080 in proposed penalties to Jobsource. Overhill Farms is facing additional fines for prior accidents.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the friends and loved ones of the victim.