OSHA News Release: [03/27/2012]
Contact Name: Michael D'Aquino or Michael Wald
Phone Number: (202) 562-2076 or x2078
Release Number: 12-0390-ATL
US Labor Departmentís OSHA cites poultry processor KD Acquisition for 11 safety violations at Gainesville, Ga., plant; proposes more than $187,000 in fines
GAINESVILLE, Ga. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited poultry processor KD Acquisition I LLC, doing business as Coleman Natural Foods, with 11 safety violations. OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office opened an inspection at the KD4 processing plant on Candler Road in Gainesville after receiving a complaint in September about safety hazards. Proposed penalties total $187,100.
Two repeat violations, each carrying a $70,000 fine, include allowing untrained workers to assist with and perform conveyor belt adjustments, and operating the conveyor belt system without machine guards that would protect workers from rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited at the company's KD5 plant in Braselton in 2007.
Eight serious violations, with penalties of $47,100, involve failing to provide adequate safety protection to workers exposed to anhydrous ammonia, train workers handling hazardous materials, provide written lockout/tagout procedures to shut down the energy sources of equipment, conduct an annual inspection of procedures to verify accuracy and perform complete lockout/tagout procedures when servicing or maintaining equipment. Workers also were exposed to a number of electrical hazards due to damaged wiring on a roof top hoist, an electrical panel cabinet that required employees to work near energized parts when resetting electrical relays, and electrical receptacles located in wet and damp locations.. Finally, workers were exposed to fall hazards from stairs located close to an unprotected roof edge. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
An other-than-serious violation with no monetary penalty has been cited for not posting signs on air handling units to indicate that they were permit-required confined spaces. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
In January, OSHA again cited the Braselton plant, for eight violations with $142,150 in proposed fines.
“KD Acquisitions has a history of endangering its workers by exposing them to serious safety and health hazards that must be corrected before a worker is seriously injured,” said William Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East office.
The current citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/KDAcquisitionsI_315738872_0314_12.pdf.
KD Acquisition has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Atlanta-East office at 770-493-6644.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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