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Region 4 News Release: 12-292-ATL (074)
Feb. 29, 2012
Contact: Michael D'Aquino    Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076    404-562-2078
Email: d'aquino.michael@dol.gov     wald.michael@dol.gov

Georgia's AGrowStar cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA for
combustible dust and other hazards; more than $74,000 in fines proposed

FORT VALLEY, Ga. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited AGrowStar LLC for 22 safety and health violations, including combustible dust accumulations, following an inspection that began in September after the agency received a complaint about the company's grain handling facility in Fort Valley. Proposed penalties for serious violations total $74,375.

The company has been cited with 20 serious violations for allowing combustible dust to accumulate, and failing to develop and implement lockout/tagout procedures for energy sources; develop a housekeeping program for areas where wheat, corn and soybean were stored; train industrial truck operators; prevent amputation hazards by guarding machinery; develop an emergency action plan; train on an annual basis employees who are exposed to fire or explosion hazards; secure a permit prior to entering a confined space to perform maintenance; conduct atmospheric testing before entering silos; list chemicals in the hazard communication program; provide fall protection; and properly install and repair electrical equipment. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Two other-than-serious violations with no monetary penalties include failing to develop and implement a respiratory program for workers required to wear respirators,