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Region 4 News Release
Release Number: 04-326-ATL (50)
March 11, 2004
Contact: Clyde Payne     Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (601) 965-4606     (404) 562-2076

Fatality at Mississippi Cannery Leads to OSHA Citations
Agency Proposes Penalties Totaling $229,000

JACKSON, Miss. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the Allen Canning Company for failing to protect workers from safety hazards that contributed to the death of an employee at the company's Moorhead, Miss., cannery.

"The tragic death of this worker could have been avoided," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L Chao. "To ensure that workplace fatalities continue to decline, we must make sure that employers protect employees from workplace hazards. The significant penalty of $229,000 in this case should send a strong signal that disregard for worker safety will not be tolerated."

OSHA's investigation reports that a maintenance worker was electrocuted on Sept. 11, while working with new wiring inside an energized electrical panel. The worker reportedly was not wearing insulated gloves or using insulated tools at the time of the fatal accident.

OSHA issued 20 alleged serious violations with proposed penalties totaling $59,000. Alleged violations directly related to the accident include allowing employees to work on energized electrical lines and failing to provide proper equipment for workers. The company was also cited for other serious hazards, including failing to provide employees with hearing protection, a lack of fall protection, failure to guard machinery parts and electrical violations unrelated to the accident.

OSHA also issued 11 alleged repeat violations with $170,000 in proposed penalties. Hazards included failure to install seatbelts in forklifts, as well as failure to train employees to use procedures to render machinery inoperable during maintenance and repair.

The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The worksite was inspected by OSHA's Jackson area office, 3780 I-55 North, Suite 210; phone: (601) 965-4606.

OSHA issues serious citations when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. Repeat citations are issued when the employer had been cited previously for substantially similar conditions.

In fiscal year 2003, the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted almost 40,000 inspections, an increase of more than 2,000 inspections over FY 2002 levels; more than half focused on high-hazard industries. For more information, visit OSHA is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses and protecting the health and safety of America's workers


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Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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