OSHA seeks $253,500 in fines from poultry processor

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $253,500 in penalties against Koch Foods of Cumming, Ga., for 34 safety and health violations.

A joint safety and health inspection was conducted as part of OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which targets the nation's most hazardous workplaces for inspection based on their histories of having high numbers of injuries and illnesses.

"The large proposed penalty for the plant reflects management's continued failure to meet OSHA's standards for the safety and health of its employees," said Gei-Thae Breezley, director of the agency's Atlanta East Area Office. "When we inspected this plant in 2004, we found many of these same violations, and our current inspection showed that this plant has not made sufficient effort to correct them."

The facility was cited for 11 repeat safety and health violations resulting in penalties totaling $187,500. Among the violations were not providing guardrails, failing to keep exit routes free of objects, improperly maintaining electrical boxes and not providing an emergency eye wash station for employees handling corrosive materials.

In addition, the plant was cited for 20 serious safety and health violations and three other violations with penalties totaling $66,000. These included employees operating a forklift without a seatbelt, failing to conduct regular inspections of forklifts, unguarded machinery that exposed employees to amputation hazards and lack of effort to protect employees from noise exposure.

The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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