The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Koch Foods for multiple safety and health violations at its poultry processing plant in Gainesville, Georgia. The company faces proposed penalties of $208,977.
OSHA cited Koch Foods with a repeat violation, alleging the company exposed employees to amputation hazards by failing to provide machine guarding. Fourteen serious citations were also issued for allegedly failing to provide fall protection, not identifying which employees were using hazardous energy control locks, and failing to train employees exposed to noise hazards. OSHA also issued two other-than-serious citations to the employer.
The inspection in which the deficiencies were found was part of the Agency’s Regional Emphasis Program for Poultry Processing Facilities.
“This company failed to protect its employees from serious hazards by disregarding important workplace safety requirements,” OSHA Area Office Director William Fulcher stated in a press release. “Employers must identify and correct hazards to ensure the safety and health of their employees.”
Fulcher is headquartered in Atlanta.
Koch Foods has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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.
Koch Foods had previously been cited by OSHA in September 2016 for alleged safety violations at its poultry plant in Morton, Mississippi. At the time, OSHA cited the company for nine serious violations.
Headquartered in Chicago, Koch Foods is the fifth largest poultry company in the United States. According to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, Koch Foods processed 50 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis in 2016, an increase of 2 million pounds or 4 percent over the previous year. Company brands are Koch Poultry, Antioch Farms, Cravers, Rogers Royal, Mr. Bennies and numerous private labels.