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OSHA cites Millard Refrigerated Services for Serious Health & Safety Violations

OSHA cites Millard Refrigerated Services for Serious Health & Safety Violations
OSHA has recently cited Millar Refrigerated Services in Theodore for serious health and safety violations. These 16 violations were found following an incident in which 152 workers were exposed to and overcome by ammonia vapors. Proposed fines are $52,500.

In August last year, anhydrous ammonia leaked out of a pipe located on the roof of the company’s facility. The company personnel became aware of this leak when a crane operator fell unconscious by the ammonia vapors while evacuating his crane can on board the ship that was being loaded. The vapor carried all the way across the ship canal to a site being used by the BP workers and Patriot Environmental workers who were responsible for the decontamination of equipment in the cleanup efforts of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. 152 workers from different companies were hospitalized due to ammonia vapor exposure and 4 were placed in the intensive care unit.

The company has been cited for 7 serious violations with $45,500 fines in proposed penalties. 4 of the violations were in connection with the incident as well as failing to conduct hazard analysis, failing to ensure emergency shutdown, failing to train workers about process safety management, and failing to investigate into the factors that could result in a catastrophic event. Other violations include: inadequate respiratory protection, deficiencies with ladders and emergency response.

It is very important for employers to have process safety management covered for all their processes, like anhydrous ammonia refrigeration. Having an effective safety program is important. It is also imperative for employers to have efficient emergency response procedures so as to ensure the protection of responding personnel.