Poultry Processing Plant Penalized for 11 Safety Violations

OSHA opened an inspection at the Gainesville, Ga., plant after receiving a complaint in September about safety hazards. Proposed penalties total $187,100.

OSHA has cited poultry processor KD Acquisition I LLC, doing business as Coleman Natural Foods, with 11 safety violations. OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office opened an inspection at the KD4 processing plant in Gainesville, Ga., after receiving a complaint in September about safety hazards. Proposed penalties total $187,100.

Two repeat violations, each carrying a $70,000 fine, include allowing untrained workers to assist with and perform conveyor belt adjustments and operate the conveyor belt system without machine guards that would protect workers from rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks. Similar violations were cited at the company's KD5 plant in Braselton, Ga., in 2007.

Eight serious violations, with penalties of $47,100, involve failing to provide adequate safety protection to workers exposed to anhydrous ammonia, train workers handling hazardous materials, provide written lockout/tagout procedures to shut down the energy sources of equipment, conduct an annual inspection of procedures to verify accuracy, and perform complete lockout/tagout procedures when servicing or maintaining equipment. Workers also were exposed to a number of electrical hazards due to damaged wiring on a roof top hoist, an electrical panel cabinet that required employees to work near energized parts when resetting electrical relays, and electrical receptacles located in wet and damp locations. Workers were also exposed to fall hazards from stairs located close to an unprotected roof edge.

An other-than-serious violation with no monetary penalty has been cited for not posting signs on air handling units to indicate that they were permit-required confined spaces.

In January, OSHA again cited the Braselton plant for eight violations with $142,150 in proposed fines.

"KD Acquisitions has a history of endangering its workers by exposing them to serious safety and health hazards that must be corrected before a worker is seriously injured," said William Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East office.

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