The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed penalties of $155,000 against Kings Delight for 13 safety and eight health violations found at its Braselton, Ga., production facility. Inspectors visited the poultry processor as part of OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which targets the nation's most hazardous workplaces for inspection based on their histories of having high numbers of injury and illness cases.

"Our combined safety and health inspection showed that the company disregarded proper safety and health procedures for its 200 employees," said Gei Thae Breezley, OSHA's Atlanta-East area director. "It is important that employers pursue safety proactively and not wait for OSHA inspectors to discover problems."

OSHA proposed penalties totaling $97,500 for four repeat safety violations – including having employees authorized to perform work for which they were not properly trained, lack of machine guards on equipment, machine disconnects not properly labeled, and sanitation employees not allowed to access lockouts for equipment they were servicing. The company had received similar citations during inspections at its Gainesville, Ga., plant between 2002 and 2005. In addition, it was cited for eight other serious safety violations – including several fall-related hazards and the use of damaged electrical cords – resulting in proposed penalties of $27,500.

OSHA also found eight health violations, including one repeat and six serious violations, resulting in $30,000 in proposed penalties. These violations included the company's failure to provide emergency eye wash and shower stations for employees handling corrosive materials, failure to conduct proper annual audiograms, incorrect use of respirators, and allowing employees to be exposed to particulates above the maximum level specified by regulation. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.

Kings Delight has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to contest them and the proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.