The owners of the Bean Station slaughterhouse at the center of an ICE raid in April was hit with 27 OSHA violations and more than $40,000 in fines, according to a report issued by Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development on August 16.
Of the 27 citations against Southern Provision, LLC on Helton Road in Bean Station, 23 were categorized as “serious” because they posed the risk of physical harm or death to employees.
Among the violations, inspectors found the owners of the packing plant failed to provide guardrails on high platforms, didn’t provide protective equipment for workers using torches to remove hooves from cows and failed to provide employees appropriate hand protection against cuts, punctures, chemical burns and temperature extremes.
TOSHA said workers were made to use knives to trim and process meat without proper hand protection. They also said plant’s owners didn’t provide proper facilities for employees to quickly wash their eyes or body if they were exposed to corrosive substances. And there wasn’t anyone at the factory who could provide first aid to injured employees.
In all, the fines levied by TOSHA totaled $41,775.
On Aug. 17, the owner of the slaughterhouse, James Brantley, pleaded guilty to two counts of failure to collect taxes, one count of employing illegal aliens and one count of wire fraud. Brantley will also pay $1,296,183 in restitution to the IRS and $127,405 to BerkleyNet.
In April, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division and the Tennessee Highway Patrol were all on hand at Southeastern Provision for a federal criminal search warrant execution that lead to an immigration investigation.
During the raid on Southeastern Provision in Bean Station, 97 people were found who were subject to removal from the United States. Ten of those were arrested on federal criminal charges, one on state charges and 86 on administrative charges. Of the 86 administrative arrests, 54 were placed in detention and 32 were released.