Peanut Processor Shelled with Safety Fines

Monday, August 1, 2016 @ 04:08 PM gHale


Great Southern Peanut LLC is facing $110,310 in fines for 21 health and safety violations at its Leesburg, GA, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Great Southern Peanut processes raw peanuts to include cleaning, shelling, sorting, packaging and shipping. OSHA investigators issued citations for 13 repeated, four serious and four other-than-serious safety and health violations.

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OSHA initiated the follow-up inspection to verify abatement of hazards from citations the agency issued to Great Southern Peanut and Georgia Farm Services LLC in March 2014.

The repeated citations relate to the employer’s failure to:
• Properly guard open sided floors and platforms
• Keep floors clean and dry in the vehicle service pit area
• Develop and implement procedures to enter a confined space area
• Keep surfaces free from hazardous accumulations of combustible peanut dust
• Provide a handrail and railing on a fixed stairway

The serious citations relate to the employer:
• Not having the required height for a guard railing system
• Exposing workers to unguarded horizontal shafts
• Failing to have stairway risers uniform and consistent

The other-than-serious citation relates to the employer:
• Not posting the annual summary of workplace injuries and illnesses recorded on the OSHA 300 log
• Failing to provide medical evaluations for employees required to wear respirators
• Failing to provide baseline and annual audiogram testing for employees exposed to noise

“Great Southern Peanut continues to ignore its responsibility to protect workers from hazards that could potentially result in serious injury or death,” said Kimberly Austin acting director of OSHA’s Savannah Area Office. “Employers should not wait for an OSHA inspection to identify hazards; they must be proactive in identifying and removing hazards.”