US Labor Department`s OSHA cites Rosina Food Products Inc., proposes $54,750 in fines for serious hazards at West Seneca, NY, plant
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Rosina Food Products Inc. with nine serious violations of workplace safety standards at its West Seneca production facility. The manufacturer of frozen food products faces a proposed penalty of $54,750.
The inspection, which began in September, identified several deficiencies in the plant's process safety management program, a detailed set of requirements and procedures employers must follow to proactively address hazards associated with processes and equipment involving large amounts of hazardous chemicals. In this case, the process is the operation and maintenance of the plant’s refrigeration system and the chemical is anhydrous ammonia, used in the refrigeration system.
'The stringent and comprehensive requirements of OSHA's process safety management standard are designed to prevent catastrophic incidents, such as the uncontrolled release of highly hazardous chemicals, including ammonia,' said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director for western New York. 'This requires full, effective and proactive adherence to the standard's requirements by the employer.'
In this case, OSHA's Buffalo Area Office found that the plant lacked effective standard operating procedures for all emergency shutdown procedures of the refrigeration system, necessary corrective actions identified during hazard analyses of the refrigeration process, clear instructions for safely conducting refrigeration procedures, written procedures to maintain the ongoing mechanical integrity of all equipment used in the refrigeration process, and procedures for handling small releases of anhydrous ammonia. In addition, the inspection found that all required safety testing was not performed. The plant did not develop specific procedures for locking out machines to prevent their unintended startup during servicing, did not inspect such procedures, and did not use group lockout/tagout procedures as required. 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.
'One method of enhancing workers' safety is developing and maintaining an effective illness and injury prevention program in which management and employees work together to identify and prevent hazardous conditions,' said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Buffalo office at 716-551-3053.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.