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OSHA cites Pearson Farm for safety violations after employee death

A 56-year-old employee died in August after being hit in the head by a pallet on a forklift

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a Crawford County peach farm after a fatal accident last year.

According to a news release, the farm is facing $128,000 in penalties.

OSHA cited Pearson Farms for exposing employees to struck-by hazards after their investigators found that the employee was caught between the load on a forklift and a metal railing while performing maintenance.

They also say the farm exposed workers to fall, chemical and amputation hazards.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.

OSHA's investigation began in August 2019 when Francisco Rodrigues died after being hit in the head by a pallet being carried on a forklift.

He died less than an hour after the accident at a Macon hospital from blunt-force trauma to the head.

Rodrigues, 56, was a native of Mexico. He had worked at Pearson Farm for years and lived in Fort Valley.

13WMAZ has reached out to Pearson Farm for a statement and this story will be updated when we hear back.


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