OSHA Cites Georgia Farm Following Employee Fatality
FORT VALLEY, GA – OSHA has cited Pearson Farms LLC for safety violations after an employee suffered fatal injuries at the farm's post-harvest operations facility in Fort Valley, Georgia. The farm is facing $128,004 in penalties.
According to an OSHA press release, investigators determined that the employee who was performing maintenance on a conveyor system was caught between the load on a forklift and a metal railing. OSHA has cited Pearson Farms LLC for:
- Exposing workers to fall, chemical, struck-by, and amputation hazards;
- Failure to provide an early warning system to detect anhydrous ammonia leaks;
- Failure to develop and implement an emergency response plan;
- Failure to adequately train workers to respond to a potential release of anhydrous ammonia;
- Failure to provide effective machine guarding; and
- Failure to develop, implement, and utilize lockout/tagout procedures.
OSHA Acting Area Director Condell Eastmond, in Atlanta-East, emphasized that Employers must assess their workplaces to identify hazards and take corrective actions to eliminate serious or life-threatening injuries and illnesses. A comprehensive safety and health program should be implemented to ensure controls are in place to protect workers.
Pearson Farms LLC has 15 business days to appeal against these citations and penalties.