GAINESVILLE, Georgia – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Koch Foods of Gainesville LLC for multiple safety and health violations at its poultry processing plant. The company is facing proposed penalties in the amount of $208,977.
OSHA cited Koch with a repeat violation for exposing employees to amputation hazards by failing to provide machine guarding. Fourteen serious citations were issued for failing to provide fall protection, not identifying which employees were using hazardous energy control locks, and failing to train employees exposed to noise hazards. OSHA also issued two other-than-serious citations to the employer. The inspection was part of the Agency’s Regional Emphasis Program for Poultry Processing Facilities.
“This company failed to protect its employees from serious hazards by disregarding important workplace safety requirements,” said OSHA Area Office Director William Fulcher, in Atlanta. “Employers must identify and correct hazards to ensure the safety and health of their employees.”
A repeat violation is one that is the same or similar to a previous violation and is subject to penalties of up to $124,709 per violation. Serious violations – those where there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known, the hazard existed – carries a maximum penalty of $12,471 per violation. A violation that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but is not serious in nature, is classified as other-than-serious. These violations carry the same maximum penalty as serious violations.
Koch Foods has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.