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OSHA News Release – Region 4
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 4 News Release ATL: 03-67
Tues., April 8 2003
Contact: G.T. Breezley Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (770) 493-6644 (404)562-2076
Workers to Multiple Safety Hazards
Agency Proposed $165,000 in Penalties
ATLANTA, Ga. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Shapiro Packing Co., Augusta, Ga., for failing to protect workers from four of the leading causes of death and injury in the workplace: falls, electrocution, crushed-in or caught-by objects. The agency is proposing penalties totaling $165,000.
OSHA selected the meat processing plant because the facility's injury and illness rates were above the national average. The site specific targeting inspection began Oct. 9.
"When a company places employees at significant risk, it is OSHA's duty to vigorously enforce the laws that protect them," said G.T. Breezley, OSHA's Atlanta-East area director. "Our goal is to assure a safe workplace for all workers."
According to Breezley, Shapiro Packing received 29 serious citations with proposed penalties totaling $90,000 for failing to protect workers from: falls through floor chutes and from catwalks and ladders; tripping on material, equipment, and debris scattered on the floor; slipping in water allowed to accumulate on the floors, and damaged electrical equipment. The company also failed to train employees in the proper use of chemicals and emergency response procedures.
Citations were also issued for failing to have process safety management, emergency response, respirator and hazard communications plans in place.
Three "repeat" citations with proposed penalties totaling $75,000 were issued for failing to develop and maintain lockout/tagout procedures that prevent the unexpected release of energy or startup of machinery during maintenance or repair, and for failing to properly guard rotating augers, belts and pulleys. OSHA issues a repeat citation when a company has been cited previously for the same or similar violations and the citations have become a final order of the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to either comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office located at LaVista Perimeter Office Park, Bldg. 7, Suite 110; Tucker, Ga., phone: (770) 493-6644.
OSHA is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace, and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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