In Effort to Improve Safety Conditions for Essential Workers on the Job, Senator Reverend Warnock Pushes for Additional Details in Deadly Gainesville Plant Incident

In new letter, Senator Warnock presses federal labor officials for an update in the investigation regarding the January Gainesville poultry plant incident that killed six workers
Senator Warnock’s letter to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration follows commitment to help bring accountability following fatal incident, protect the dignity and safety of essential workers
Full letter below:

April 8, 2021

James Frederick
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20210 

Dear Assistant Secretary Frederick:

I write to seek information about the status of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) investigation into the deadly gas leak that occurred inside a poultry processing plant in Gainesville, Georgia on January 28, 2021. 

Due to liquid nitrogen release at the Foundation Food Group’s plant, six workers were killed, 12 were injured, and roughly 130 were forced to evacuate.i This has devastated a community already facing immense challenges due to COVID-19. At the onset of the pandemic, processing plant workers were deemed essential and maintained production levels putting the health and safety of vulnerable communities at risk. Unfortunately, this tragedy shines a light on the dangers plant workers often face in order to feed the nation.

Congress created the OSHA to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing workplace safety. I strongly believe that OSHA has a critical role to play in protecting the dignity of work, which includes ensuring safe working conditions and swift accountability when working conditions are unsafe.

I appreciate your swift action to investigate and hold the appropriate people accountable. While I understand the investigation can take time, I request an update of your ongoing investigation so I can keep my constituents informed. 

Thank you for leadership on this matter. I look forward to working with you on behalf of the workers of Gainesville and throughout Georgia.

Sincerely, 

Raphael Warnock

United States Senator

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https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/us/poultry-plant-nitrogen-gainesville-georgia.html