Rockmart Plant

The collapsed roof of a portion of the JCG Farms feed mill facility in Rockmart is visible behind the caution tape and fire truck on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, a day after an explosion killed one employee and injured five others. (Jeremy Stewart/

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited JCG Farms and two subcontractors for 15 serious safety violations stemming from an explosion at the chicken feed mill in Rockmart.

The Feb. 7 explosion resulted in the death of one employee, Justin Deems, 25, and injuries to five other mill workers.

The facility is at 1750 Ga. 101.

OSHA investigators turned up a total of 23 major and minor violations.

Officials said compliance could have prevented the explosion and Deems’ death.

Violations ranged from allowing the build-up of combustible dust to failing to post signs warning of the potential hazard and failing to implement an emergency action plan.

Penalties totaling $105,000 have been proposed for JCG Farms and its parent corporation JCG Farms of Alabama, doing business as Koch Farms of Collinsville.

Penalties of $2,800 each have been proposed against A to J Electrical Services of Villa Rica and D. Sims Inc. of Cohutta.

“It is tragic that despite wide industry awareness of these hazards, that some employers remain unaware of the common hazards of combustible dust,” said Christi Griffin, OSHA’s area director in the Atlanta-West Office in a press release.

“This incident and this man’s death were preventable. JCG Farms needs to take a proactive approach in their safety and health program to assess the workplace for hazards and correct them to ensure worker safety.”

The investigation determined that an excessive accumulation of grain dust in the hammer mill area ignited, resulting in the explosion that killed Deems.

Five others were injured and sent to area hospitals. The blast caused extensive damage to the building and closed the feed mill.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of its citations issued on July 22 to respond. They may opt to comply with the order, request a conference or contest the findings before the independent OSHA Review Commission.

OSHA spokesman Michael D’Aquino said none of the companies had responded to the citations as of Monday afternoon.

The deadlines will vary since the countdown for a company starts when it physically receives the notice. D’Aquino speculated that the dates could range into the third week of August.