OSHA Cites ConAgra for Georgia Workplace Fatality

OSHA has cited ConAgra Foods Inc., following the investigation of an Aug. 13 fatal accident at the company's Athens, Ga., chicken-processing plant. The agency is proposing penalties totaling $171,500.

OSHA's investigation found that an employee reportedly was walking through a shipping-and-receiving area on the day of the accident when she was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer truck backing into a loading dock.

The company was cited for failing to provide adequate signs for exits and passageways, and to assure that truck drivers had a clear view before backing up. Other citations, which were not directly related to the accident, include failing to protect workers from electrical and machine-guarding hazards throughout the plant.

"This employee's tragic death was preventable, and the Labor Department's significant fine of $171,500 sends a clear message" that the violation of safety standards will not be tolerated, said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.

The company received 20 serious citations with proposed penalties totaling $61,500, and eight repeat citations with $110,000 in proposed penalties.

The agency issues serious citations when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. Repeat citations are issued when the employer had been cited previously for substantially similar conditions and the citations have become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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