workers were exposed to ammonia hazards in July 2012 at the Bartlett plant, which was being retrofitted for use as a pasta production facility. Proposed fines total $54,000.
Eight serious violations of OSHA's process safety management standards were cited for deficiencies in the company's ammonia refrigeration process. These included a lack of written standard operating procedures for the ammonia refrigeration process; no emergency action plan; failing to perform inspections and tests on process equipment; not addressing the hazards of the ammonia refrigeration process; and failing to address the findings and recommendations of the process hazard analysis team.
"OSHA provides guidelines for employers to manage the safety and health of workers associated with processes involving hazardous chemicals. Failing to properly address these issues puts workers at risk for exposure," said Diane Turek, area director for OSHA's Chicago North office. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so."
Three additional serious violations involve failing to develop, implement and train employees in hazard communication, provide an emergency eyewash station and provide material data safety sheets for hazardous chemicals present in the workplace. 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.
Additionally, one other-than-serious violation was issued for a slip and trip hazard after water was found on the floor of the engine room. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.