Atlanta manufacturer takes quick action on safety violations

Frozen food producer accepts $100K in penalties, enhanced safety compliance

Posted January 29, 2016

When OSHA inspectors returned to an Atlanta food manufacturing facility and found previously cited hazards had reoccurred, the agency reported that the company’s management took an unusual step.

According to the agency, the subsidiary of a national frozen food retail company told OSHA that it accepted responsibility for the safety and health hazards and signed a pre-citation settlement agreement on January 15.

The agency issued repeated citations for failing to:

  • Ensure workers used safety procedures to prevent unexpected machine start up during maintenance and servicing.
  • Ensure machinery was properly guarded.
  • Implement safety procedures for the ammonia refrigeration systems.

OSHA previously cited the company in 2013 for similar violations at the facility.

The agency issued serious citations to the company for failing to:

  • Develop written emergency shutdown procedures for the refrigeration system.
  • Train workers, technicians and first responders on emergency action plans or responder's duties for refrigerant spills at the facility.

Other violations include the employer not reviewing operating procedures at least annually and not conducting a respirator fit-test for a first responder.

In its settlement, the company will pay penalties of $100,000. In addition, the agreement includes extensive enhancements and commitments for safety and health improvements such as:

  • Assuring only authorized, properly trained employees perform service and maintenance on machinery.
  • Hiring a third-party consultant to conduct an audit of the facility focused on equipment, fall, electrical, and guarding hazards.
  • Conducting training for employees on emergency shut-down, contractors, first-responder, standard operating procedures for new machinery and keeping OSHA 300 logs.
  • Meeting with OSHA officials quarterly to discuss the status of compliance.

OSHA Compliance for General IndustryJ. J. Keller's OSHA Compliance for General Industry manual is your single source for real-world OSHA compliance guidance.


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