Sinton Dairy Foods Co. Inc. in Colorado Springs is facing $74,610 in fines for 10 serious, two repeat and two other-than-serious violations, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA began an inspection in November 2012 under its Site Specific Targeting Program that directs enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces, where high injury and illness rates occur, and the National Emphasis Program on facilities, covered under the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals.
The serious violations of the process safety management standard include a lack of accurate process information; lack of documentation demonstrating that process equipment complies with recognized and accepted engineering practices; inadequate process hazard analysis revalidation; lack of adequate procedures for managing changes in process equipment; and deficiencies in mechanical integrity of equipment, which could lead to the release of ammonia. Other serious violations include fall hazards from elevated work areas, unguarded machinery and failing to provide properly designed electrical equipment for wet locations. 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.
The two repeat violations were for failing to establish written procedures to maintain the ongoing integrity of the process equipment and exposing workers to live electrical parts.
A repeat citation is when an employer faced similar or the same citations of a standard, regulation, or rule at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Officials found similar violations were at this same work site in 2009. The other-than-serious violations include an ineffective evaluation for contractors working on chemical processes and for storing materials in front of electrical equipment. 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.
“Abating OSHA violations is a sign that an employer wants to keep its workers safe, but in this case, the employer allowed these hazards to reoccur and continued to expose workers to possible fire and electrical hazards, among other dangers,” said David Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Greenwood Village. “OSHA will not tolerate such disregard for worker safety.”