OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 4 News Release ATL: 03-93
Mon., May 12, 2003
Contact: G.T. Breezley Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (770) 493-6644 x0 (404) 562-2076
$45,500 in Penalties Proposed for safety and health hazards, lack of safety training
ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued citations and proposed penalties totaling $45,500 to Valley Fresh, Inc., Talmo, Ga., for exposing workers to multiple hazards. The company was also cited for failing to implement required safety and health procedures and to train workers.
Valley Fresh received 19 serious citations, including failure to maintain an effective program and procedures to render machinery inoperable during maintenance and cleaning. Other citations were for improperly guarded machinery and failure to implement a respirator protection program, including medical evaluations, fit-testing and training for employees. Proposed penalties total $44,500.
Additionally, the company was charged with failing to: review and update its plan for controlling the exposure of workers to bloodborne pathogens; failure to train employees on the hazards of bloodborne pathogens and offer them Hepatitis B vaccinations; failure to protect employees from noise exposure and maintain an effective hearing conservation program; and failure to provide required medical exams and training for technicians handling hazardous materials.
The citations further alleged that the company improperly locked exit doors and exposed workers to electrical hazards. The agency issued five other-than-serious citations with additional proposed penalties totaling $1,000.
"Accident prevention is key to a safe workplace," said G.T. Breezley, OSHA's Atlanta-East area director. "The wide range of alleged violations at Valley Fresh placed employees at considerable risk for injury or illness."
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.
OSHA issues serious citations when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which an employer knew or should have known.
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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