Rich Products Corp., Brownsville, Texas, is facing $155,000 in fines for 11 serious and three repeat violations and also ended up in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Headquartered in St. Simons Island, Georgia, Rich Products is a manufacturer and distributor of frozen seafood products.
OSHA began a programmed-targeted inspection on July 23 under the agency’s Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program to reduce or eliminate the release of highly hazardous chemicals.
The citations are the result of an inspection of the plant’s anhydrous ammonia refrigeration system.
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 PSM, 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.
“Process safety management is necessary for preventing or minimizing the consequences of an unexpected release of toxic, reactive, flammable, or explosive chemicals in the workplace,” said Travis Clark, OSHA’s area director in Corpus Christi. “This includes liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals such as ammonia. It’s vital that Rich Products ensure safeguards are in place to protect worker safety and health at this facility.”