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State agency issues proposed fines

October 16 2007

Del Monte Fresh Produce and American Staffing Resources, a North Carolina-based staffing company, were given a proposed fines totaling $28,700 by the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division.

The fines stem from working conditions at Del Monte Fresh Produce's plant near Portland OR. Dangers cited by the agency include electrical connections exposed to potential contact with water, incomplete documentation of workplace injuries, not investigating accidents to prevent future mishaps, and not ensuring that nonmanagement workers were represented on the employer safety committee. Proposed penalties for Fresh Del Monte Produce total $13,100 and for the staffing company total $15,600. Both companies have two weeks to appeal.

The state agency said its safety investigation began prior to a June 12 raid at the Del Monte facility in which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detained 167 workers.

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