California Cereal Products in Macon cited for health, safety hazards

Staff reportJune 19, 2014 

California Cereal Products has been cited for nine serious health and safety violations after an inspection at the company’s production facility in Macon.

The violations, which exposed full-time and temporary workers to electrical, fall and noise hazards, resulted in penalties totaling $40,600, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The agency initiated the December 2013 inspection after a complaint.

“The employer has failed to protect full-time and temporary workers from easily identified workplace hazards that can result in death or permanent disability,” said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office, in a news release. “Allowing workers to be exposed to serious hazards demonstrates a lack of commitment to employee safety and health.”

A phone message left at the California Cereal Products office seeking comment wasn’t returned.

With $39,900 in penalties, the serious safety and health violations included the employer’s failure to provide permanent and temporary workers with training to protect themselves from moving machine parts during servicing and maintenance activities and for exposing workers to fall hazards, the statement said.

The company failed to institute a monitoring and training program for occupational noise exposure to prevent permanent hearing loss from unsafe noise levels.

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.

Other violations, with $700 in penalties, were cited for failure to conduct training for workers who were required to use powered industrial trucks and for not ensuring the required load safety data plates were intact and visible.

California Cereal Products, specializing in organic, gluten-free and rice flour products, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Atlanta-East area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.

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