Smithfield Foods says it will appeal the citation issued against them from OSHA for failing to protect workers against COVID-19.
OSHA announced Thursday that they were imposing a fine of $13,494 against the company, the maximum allowed by law.
At least 1,294 Smithfield workers contracted coronavirus, and four employees died from the virus in the spring of this year.
Keira Lombardo, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Compliance for Smithfield, issued a statement saying quote:
“This OSHA citation is wholly without merit and we plan to contest it.”
Lombardo says after an investigation spanning many months, 60 interviews and a review of over 20,000 pages of documents,
OSHA issued only a single citation for conditions that existed on and prior to March 23rd.
She says OSHA did not issue guidelines for the meatpacking industry until April 26th.