Guntersville's Pilgrim's Pride plant has faced more than $20,000 in fines since 2014

WAAY31 learned Tuesday the Pilgrim's Pride plant in Guntersville where a man died faced multiple violations and more than $20,000 in fines since 2013.

Posted: Jan 7, 2020 6:52 PM
Updated: Jan 7, 2020 8:38 PM

WAAY31 learned Tuesday the Pilgrim's Pride plant in Guntersville where a man died faced multiple violations and more than $20,000 in fines since 2013.

Right now, the plant is under investigation after a man died at the site Monday morning.

The Pilgrim's Pride plant in Guntersville been investigated at least seven times by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more commonly known as OSHA.

Right now, investigators are looking into the death of Gabriel Seth Brutley. Tuesday, investigators told us they don’t plan on releasing any information until their entire report is complete.

In the meantime, we did some digging into the plants most recent violations spanning back to 2013. Based on the investigations database this is the first death at the plant in Guntersville.

In 2014, an investigation was opened into the plants handling of carbon dioxide. Pilgrim's Pride was fined $1,400.

Two years later, OSHA fined the plant more than $5,600 after the plant was found to be mishandling hazardous energy.

In October of 2018, WAAY31 was there as people who lived near the plant were told to stay inside after a mechanical fire caused an ammonia leak.

Last year, the plant was charged with two violations for mishandling chemicals and received a $13,000 fine.

Other investigations were listed in the database but didn't include details. We filed a formal request for more information on all of these investigations. We asked officials if seven investigations in 7 years is normal, OSHA said it depends on the facility.

A representative for OSHA said they'll finish their investigation within 6 months. We asked what penalties the plant could face, but he said he didn't want to speculate.

Nikki Richardson, a Pilgrim's Pride spokesperson, issued this statement late Tuesday: "In response to the tragic accident that took place yesterday, Pilgrim’s safety experts are on the scene to investigate and implement any necessary corrective actions to ensure an incident like this never happens again.

"Any previous issues that have taken place at the facility are rare, uncommon and have all been resolved. They are completely unrelated to the tragic accident that took place yesterday. This is the only fatality that has occurred since Pilgrim’s ownership. Out of respect for the grieving family, we do not have any additional comments at this time.”

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