Teenager dies in accident at Mississippi poultry plant. Officials investigating how minor was allowed to work at plant.

Published 6:14 am Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Officials are investigating how a teenage boy, who was killed Friday while working at a Mississippi poultry plant, was allowed to work despite laws that bar underage workers from such “hazardous” activities.

WDAM in Hattiesburg reports that the teen died from injuries he sustained at the Mar-Jac Poultry plant in Hattiesburg.

A press release from the company reports that the teen died in an accident at approximately 8 p.m. Friday while “conducting sanitation operations.”

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Officials are investigating how the teen, who the Forrest County Coroner’s Office has not identified, was able to secure a job at the Mar-Jac Poultry plant.

Federal law bars minors from working at meat and poultry plants, defining the jobs as “particularly hazardous” or “detrimental to their health or well-being.”

The Fair Labor Standards Act lists sanitation of meat and poultry plant equipment as a hazardous activity off limits to underage workers.

In the past three years, Mar-Jac Poultry has reported two other deaths and one amputation.

Multiple agencies are investigating the death, including the Hattiesburg police, the Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Wage and Hour Division.

OSHA previously fined the company $52,355 for four safety violations in three separate incidents in 2020 and 2021.