US Department of Labor's OSHA cites cereal manufacturer for exposing
permanent and temporary workers to serious safety hazards
MACON, Ga. – California Cereal Products Inc. was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for nine serious safety and health violations for exposing full-time and temporary workers to electrical, fall and noise hazards following an inspection at the company's cereal production facility in Macon. The agency initiated the December 2013 inspection because of a complaint. Penalties total $40,600.
"The employer has failed to protect full-time and temporary workers from easily identified workplace hazards that can result in death or permanent disability," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "Allowing workers to be exposed to serious hazards demonstrates a lack of commitment to employee safety and health."
With $39,900 in penalties, the serious safety and health violations include the employer's failure to provide permanent and temporary workers with training to protect themselves from moving machine parts during servicing and maintenance activities and for exposing workers to fall hazards. The company failed to institute a monitoring and training program for occupational noise exposure to prevent permanent hearing loss from unsafe noise levels. 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.
In April 2013, OSHA announced an initiative to improve workplace safety and health for temporary workers.
Other violations, with $700 in penalties, were cited for failure to conduct training for workers required to use powered industrial trucks and for not ensuring the required load safety data plates were intact and visible.
OSHA has created a fall prevention Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures. In addition, OSHA collaborated with the construction industry and hosted a National Safety Stand-Down on fall prevention from June 2-6 to raise awareness among employers and workers about the hazards of falls. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/index.html.
California Cereal Products, specializing in organic, gluten-free and rice flour products, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Atlanta-East area director, or contest the citations and penalties 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 Area Office at 404-493-6644.
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.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).