Company Fined for Failure to Reduce the Release of Highly Hazardous Chemicals

 
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration began a programmed-targeted inspection on July 23, 2015, under the agency’s Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program to reduce or eliminate the release of highly hazardous chemicals. Following the inspection of Rich Products Corporation's plant’s anhydrous ammonia refrigeration system, OSHA issued citations for 11 serious and three repeat violations and also placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Some of the 11 serious violations cited include failing to:
Provide written notice of annual audiograms.
Refit workers for hearing protection and training.
Test ammonia detectors, and implement an emergency response plan for potential release of anhydrous ammonia.
Provide an annual fit test for respirator use.
Provide a medical evaluation to determine employee’s ability to use a respirator.

The repeat violations, all relating to the Process Safety Management, include failing to:
Include a relief design system for the process safety information to maintain adequate pressure.
Provide accurate calculations for the ventilation system design.
Provide adequate procedures for draining oil pot vessels.

OSHA proposed $155,000 in penalties because safety management is necessary for preventing or minimizing the consequences of an unexpected release of toxic, reactive, flammable, or explosive chemicals in the workplace. 

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