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US Labor secretary appeals ruling to halt Mar-Jac safety inspection
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The U.S. Secretary of Labor filed an appeal Dec. 28 to pursue an inspection warrant for the Mar-Jac poultry plant in Gainesville.

U.S. District Judge William O’Kelley granted the poultry plant’s motion to quash the warrant Nov. 2, following the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s attempt for an “expanded inspection” of the facilities, according to court documents.

In February, a Mar-Jac employee reportedly suffered first-, second- and third-degree burns.

“The issue here is whether it was reasonable to expand the unprogrammed inspection stemming from Mar-Jac’s report to OSHA of hospitalization of its employee into a programmed inspection of all hazards targeted by the Regional Emphasis Programs for Poultry Processing Facilities,” according to the order quashing the motion.

The Regional Emphasis Programs would target 16 specific hazards “that are common to the poultry processing industry and pose the greatest risk to employees,” according to court documents.

The judge ruled OSHA did not have probable cause for the expanded inspection.

The appeal is filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

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