Rich Products Corp. is facing an $80,385 fine for 23 safety violations following an inspection prompted by complaints about the frozen food manufacturing facility in Brunswick, GA, said officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The company is facing citations for 20 serious violations for exposing workers to slipping hazards due to wet floors; fall hazards due to holes in the floor around equipment on elevated platforms; workplace entry and exit hazards due to missing signs; an unsafe ammonia refrigeration system due to incomplete process safety information; and amputation and electrical hazards from not completely guarding process equipment.
Additional violations involve a failure to ensure workers were using personal protective equipment, including goggles, face shields and gloves while working with corrosive chemicals; audit the process safety management program; lockout/tagout procedures completely isolated energy sources; post warning signs; and permit partial hindrance to exit routes and protect workers from hot piping and missing guardrails on elevated platforms. 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.
Three other-than-serious violations also ended up cited, but with no monetary penalty. They were failing to correctly document the current implemented safeguards; determine the severity of consequences on the process hazard analysis checklist for the ammonia refrigeration system; and annually certify the current and accurate status of operating procedures throughout the ammonia refrigeration system, so it does not use fixed wiring for the recirculation vessel. 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.
“This inspection identified a wide range of safety hazards that need to be eliminated in order to protect workers,” said Robert Vazzi, OSHA’s area director in Savannah, Ga. “It is the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace.”
Rich Products Corp., which operates 18 food-processing facilities throughout the United States, is a manufacturer of nondairy and frozen food to food-service, in-store bakeries, retail and industrial marketplaces.