Two face ammonia safety fines
In separate cases, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, the USA’s largest chicken processor, faces a penalty of $122,500, while one of the nation’s oldest chocolate companies, Russell Stover Candies, faces fines of $193,000.
Federal inspectors found that Pilgrim’s Pride failed to use proper safety procedures that allowed a release of 79lb of anhydrous ammonia from its refrigeration system and endangered workers at its Waco facility on September 28, 2015.
The US Department of Labour’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation for two repeat and two serious violations under its process safety management standards.
OSHA issued the two repeat citations to Pilgrim’s for failing to implement proper standard operating procedures with accurate information on safety systems and how they worked. The OSHA said that the company’s process hazard analysis failed to address issues in the plant. Inspectors also found the company’s inspections and equipment testing were not completed as scheduled or documented as required. The agency cited Pilgrim’s for the same or similar violations at its plants in Nacogdoches in February 2015 and in De Queen, Arkansas, in July 2013.
The agency also issued serious citations for failing to use proper methods to prevent over-pressurisation and explosions in the system, and for placing the control and maintenance room facilities in the engine room for ammonia refrigeration.
Headquartered in Greeley, Colorado, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation is described as the world’s second largest chicken producer, and the largest in the US.
OSHA investigations following the release of about 22lb of ammonia when an air-conditioning unit pipe failed at its facility in Kansas on September 23 last year, resulted in the company being cited the with three repeat, 14 serious and two other-than-serious safety violations. On March 31, OSHA proposed penalties of $193,600. The agency has also placed Russell Stover in its Severe Violator Enforcement Programme.
Latest news from the world of air conditioning and refrigeration
UK: The majority of local authorities in the UK are flouting government prompt payment laws, according to a new report by the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA).
UK: A cascade refrigeration system twinning CO2 with the HFO refrigerant 1234ze has been named as Retail Energy Project of the Year in last week’s Energy Awards in London.
UK: Industrial refrigeration contractor Stonegrove Refrigeration has appointed Steve Gowing as design and project engineer.
UK: Javac UK, the refrigerant recovery and vacuum pump supplier, has been named as Climate Centers’ Supplier of the Year for the second year running.
EUROPE: The European Commission has warned that the uptake of training in alternative refrigerants is too low to match the requirements of the F-gas phase down.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: Customs authorities in the Solomon Islands have reported their second seizure of the illegal CFC refrigerant R12 this year.
IRAN: German compressor manufacturer Bitzer has established a subsidiary company in Iran.
USA: Seven local residents are reported to be suing Honeywell after a chemical leak at its Geismar, Louisiana, plant in August.