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OSHA Proposes 41 Safety And Health Violations to Georgia Peanut Processor in Sylvester and Blakely, Ga.

Savannah, Ga. - OSHA is proposing 41 safety and health violations to Birdsong Corp.’s facilities in Sylvester and Blakely, Ga.

"Our inspections, and a worker fatality at the Blakely plant, show the need for management to get serious about the safety and health of its employees," said OSHA’s area director on Savannah, Mr. Robert Vazzi.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration started an inspection of Birdsong’s plant in June 2009. Other than 21 safety violations, the compliance officers also found one-other-than safety violations, including fall hazards, lack of machine guards, and lack of emergency lighting, electrical hazards and unmarked exit doors. A separate inspection was opened in July 2009 to address possible noise hazards at the plant which resulted in three serious and one other-than-serious health violations.

In September 2009, there was a comprehensive inspection by OSHA of the company’s Blakely, Ga., The investigation resulted in the issuance of three serious safety violations and one-other-than serious safety violations, it also included lack of machine guarding and lack of guardrails.

At the time of the course of the fatality investigation, the compliance officer became worried about possible combustible dust hazards at the plant. A separate combustible dust inspection was started and it resulted in the issuance of 11 serious violations.

The result of the inspection resulted in proposed penalties of $137,250, $88, 200 for the Sylvester plant and $49,050 for the Blakely plant.

Under the OSHA Act of 1970, the role of OSHA is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for the people America by setting and enforcing standards, and providing OSHA training, outreach and education.