A Georgia farm is facing $128,004 in fines for safety violations after a worker was fatally injured in a forklift accident.
The worker was pinned between a forklift load and a metal railing while doing maintenance work on a conveyor system at a Pearson Farm’s facility in Fort Valley, GA, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
After investigating the incident, OSHA cited the farm, which grows peaches and pecans, earlier this month for several safety violations, the release said. The farm is cited for “exposing employees to struck-by hazards,” and to “fall, chemical and amputation hazards,” OSHA investigators said.
OSHA said the employer didn’t have a system to detect “anhydrous ammonia leaks” or come up with an “emergency response plan.”
It also didn’t train employees for what to do in the case of a leak, have “effective machine guarding” or use procedures to control “hazardous energy,” OSHA said.
“Employers must assess their workplaces to identify hazards and take corrective actions to eliminate serious or life-threatening injuries and illnesses,” said OSHA acting area director Condell Eastmond. “A comprehensive safety and health program should be implemented to ensure controls are in place to protect workers.”
The farm has not released a statement in response to the citation and is not commenting at this time, said Angela Young, who does marketing for the farm.