FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- California's workplace safety agency has imposed massive fines on Foster Farms for several severe violations it committed during and after a coronavirus outbreak at facilities in Livingston last year.
The company received a total of 12 violations from Cal/OSHA last week for COVID-related problems and the agency has proposed a total of $174,275 in fines for violations such as failing to ensure proper physical distancing, not providing effective face coverings and not communicating effectively.
The violations cover issues in the meat processing plant and refrigerated warehousing and storage areas.
Employees were seen working, eating, drinking and interacting closer than six feet from each other in their workspaces and break rooms, according to Cal/OSHA's report.
Action News reached out to Foster Farms, which declined to comment on the citations by Cal/OSHA.
Nearly 400 workers at the Merced County facilities have tested positive for COVID-19 since last fall, and at least nine have lost their lives.
County public health officials said that the workplace outbreak was the worst in Merced County and one of the deadliest in the state, and ordered the facility to temporarily shut down operations in September.
Among the violations by Foster Farms cited by Cal/OSHA, the agency says the company: