OSHA Proposes More Than $110K In Fines To Peanut Processor For Serious Safety Violations

OSHA issued citations Monday following an inspection of Great Southern Peanut which included 13 repeated, four serious and four other-than-serious health and safety violations.

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OSHA issued citations Monday following an inspection of Great Southern Peanut which included 13 repeated, four serious and four other-than-serious health and safety violations. The proposed penalties for the citations total $110,310. 

The investigation found Great Southern Peanut has repeatedly failed to properly guard open-sided floors and platforms, provide necessary handrails, implementing entering procedures for confined areas, maintain clean and dry work areas for vehicle servicing areas and reduce accumulations of combustible peanut dust. 

The serious citations include the company's failure to have the required guard railing height, exposing workers to unguarded horizontal shafts and inconsistent and non-uniform straiway risers. Other citations include failure to post the annual summary of workplace injuries on the OSHA 300 log and failure to provide medical evaluations and tests for workers who wear respirators or are exposed to noise. 

“Great Southern Peanut continues to ignore its responsibility to protect workers from hazards that could potentially result in serious injury or death,” said Kimberly Austin, acting director of OSHA’s Savannah Area Office. “Employers should not wait for an OSHA inspection to identify hazards; they must be proactive in identifying and removing hazards.”

These citations have led OSHA to consider placing the company in the Severe Violators Enforcement Program. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, contest or request a conference based on the findings. 

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