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A Hudson Foods plant in Noel was cited for safety violations for the second time this year, with federal regulators this time proposing fines totaling $840,000.

Hudson Foods said it would fight the allegations from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, which has cited the plant for ergonomics violations.

This is the second citation that OSHA has made against the poultry-processing plant in five months. In July, the agency proposed fines of $322,500 for various violations, including inadequate training, defective equipment and improper safeguards.

OSHA said the plant's ergonomics hazards have resulted in more than 300 cases of cumulative trauma disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. The number of cases has risen each of the last three years, according to OSHA.

"This citation is more about getting headlines and deflecting attention from OSHA's own performance than it is about the health of our associates," said Thom Hanson, Hudson spokesman.

credit Knight-Ridder

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