Job Safety: A Belated Crackdown: A Belated Crackdown

A Belated Crackdown

It came too late for the 25 workers who died in a fire last September at the poultry-processing plant in Hamlet, N.C., owned by Imperial Food Products. But last week U.S. Labor Secretary Lynn Martin gave North Carolina 90 days to strengthen its laggard factory-inspection program -- or the Federal Government will take it over. North Carolina and 22 other states run their own occupational-safety plans, with federal approval. But the understaffed state labor department never sent any of its 27 inspectors to the Hamlet plant in its 11 years of operation. On Dec. 31, the state fined Imperial $808,150 for...

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