April 02, 2020

DeCoster egg successors cited for alleged violations > OSHA proposes fines of $125,600 for companies

PORTLAND – Four successor companies to the DeCoster Egg Farm in Turner have been cited by federal officials for alleged health and safety violations.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposes combined penalties of $125,600 against Maine Contract Farming LLC, Maine Ag LLC, Turner Maintenance and Services Inc. and PFS Loading Services Inc., the agency announced Friday.

The alleged violations were discovered during follow-up inspections.

“While the overall number of citations has declined from previous inspections, these latest inspections still identified several instances where significant safety and health problems reoccurred,” C. William Freeman III, OSHA area director for Maine, said in a statement.

“Though progress has been made, such backsliding is indefensible.”

Some of the most serious problems were structurally unsound roof rafters, defective cranes and trucks, unprotected propane fuel tanks and contaminated eyewash facilities.

Other serious problems included unsanitary respirators, allowing workers to wear torn gloves while handling chicken carcasses and letting people eat in unsanitary locations.

Some of the violations were similar to others for which the Turner farm was cited in May 1999.

The companies have 15 working days to comply with the citations, request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA or contest them before a commission.

A call to an attorney for the company was not immediately returned.

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