U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

Rochelle, Georgia, peanut processing plant cited for serious safety violations following US Department of Labor OSHA investigation


Rochelle, Ga. -- McCleskey Mills Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 28 safety and health violations for exposing workers to amputations, falls and other safety hazards. The agency initiated the February 2014 inspection at the peanut processing plant in Rochelle after receiving a complaint. Proposed penalties total $72,553.

'McCleskey Mills cannot continue to expose its employees to these hazards and must immediately address the lack of safety controls,' said Robert Vazzi, director of OSHA's Savannah Area Office. 'An effective safety and health management system would have identified these hazards and corrected them. This company has to do more to protect its employees.'

The serious violations were cited for exposing workers to fall hazards due to missing railings on platforms, stairs and ladders, failing to protect workers from moving parts of machines during repairs and servicing, and for blocking an exit by installing a piece of sheet metal in front of a door. Additionally, the employer failed to provide workers with personal protective equipment or have an emergency eyewash station or shower located adjacent to work areas that required them. McCleskey was cited for four additional safety violations with no monetary penalties assessed. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

OSHA has created a fall prevention Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.

McCleskey Mills processes and provides raw, shelled peanuts to manufacturers and customers in the United States and abroad. McCleskey employs 70 workers at this facility and approximately 200 workers nationwide.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed 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.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Savannah Area Office at 912-652-4393.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, fatal work injuries in Georgia accounted for 101 of the 4,383 fatal work injuries reported in 2012. Additional details are available at http://bls.gov/iif/home.htm.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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