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Region 4 News Release: 09-1036-ATL (267)
Sept. 2, 2009
Contact: Michael D'Aquino     Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076     404-562-2078

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA cites Ball Ground, Ga., poultry additive manufacturer with failure-to-abate, repeat and serious safety violations

ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing $69,500 in penalties against Chris Brigham, doing business as Brigham Farms, for safety violations at its Ball Ground, Ga., poultry additive facility.

Brigham Farms is being cited with two alleged violations for failure-to-abate with a proposed penalty of $20,700. These violations stem from a previous inspection in August 2008 that revealed workers exposed to propionic acid and formaldehyde were not provided an eye wash and shower area, and the employer has not implemented a hazard communication plan when using chemicals such as propionic acid and formaldehyde.

The citations also include 11 alleged repeat violations with a proposed penalty of $26,400, including failure to conduct an initial process hazard analysis for production of a substance containing formaldehyde. Additionally, the employer did not have a training program for using formaldehyde, failed to develop a respiratory protection program or provide chemical protective clothing and equipment, failed to have an action plan and emergency procedures, blocked exit routes, did not have a change room and exposed employees to chemicals without a medical surveillance program.

Also, there are 13 alleged serious violations with a proposed penalty of $21,200, one of which resulted in an employee suffering an amputation on an unguarded sealing machine. Other violations include: unguarded floor hole, no stair or guardrails, broken stairs, missing rung and side rail on a ladder, exposure to amputation hazards, no written safety compilation for formaldehyde, no initial training on safety and health hazards, exposure to electrical shock from electrical panels, no written procedures for formaldehyde process equipment, engineering controls not implemented for overexposure to dust and exposing employees to dust two-and-a-half to 20 times the permissible exposure limit.

The company has received two alleged other-than-serious violations and a $1,200 penalty for failing to post citations issued after a previous inspection. OSHA requires that employees must be aware of the hazards to which they may be exposed.

"Brigham Farms knows what needs to be fixed and should not wait any longer to make the necessary changes to its safety and health program," said Gei-Thae Breezley, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office, 2183 Northlake Parkway, Building 7, Suite 110, Tucker, Ga.; telephone 770-493-6644.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.


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