Feb. 29, 2016
Worker's severe saw injury prompts OSHA investigation that uncovers
more than a dozen safety hazards at Augusta meat processing plant
Agency says injury was preventable, proposes nearly $70K in penalties
Employer name: FPL Food LLC
Investigation site: 1301 New Savannah Road, Augusta, Georgia 30901
Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to the employer on Feb. 26 for 15 serious safety violations.
Investigation findings: OSHA initiated an investigation after learning a worker was hospitalized after a workplace injury. On Dec. 3, 2015, a hydraulic saw lacerated the abdomen of a 36-year-old saw operator as he cut meat. The worker was severely injured. OSHA discovered that the saw's safety cut-off switches were not functioning properly.
The agency cited FPL Food LLC for exposing workers to falls on platforms without rails; electric shock from improper wiring; and amputations from unguarded cutting blades. Additionally, the employer did not provide a fully functional eyewash station for workers handling leaking batteries. The company also failed to train workers on the specific procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing.
Quote: "The results of this investigation clearly indicate that FPL Food's safety and health management plan is ineffective and not being enforced," said William Fulcher, OSHA's area director in the Atlanta-East Office. "Management must make worker safety its top priority and be engaged in enforcing it."
Proposed penalties: $67,270
The citations can be viewed at: http://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/documents/newsroom/releases/OSHA20160303.pdf
FPL Food is a fresh meat processor that prepares, packs and ships beef products to food service and retail customers. The company employs nearly 400 workers in Augusta. The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its 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 amputations, eye loss, 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 Area 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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Release Number: 16-303-ATL (47)
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