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$119k fine for exposing workers to ammonia hazard

USA: A poultry processing plant  in Laurel, Mississippi, faces $119,341 in penalties for allegedly exposing employees to hazardous chemicals.

The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Wayne Farms LLC after a leak of 2,100lb (952.5kg) of ammonia on January 27 sent 12 employees to hospital.

OSHA also cited Wayne Farms for a number of violations. These included failing to equip an ammonia refrigeration system with a pressure relief device as referenced by the manufacturer’s operating manual, failing to train technicians in an alternative over-pressure safety procedure and not performing a management of change procedure to determine the effects of removing safety relief devices from all condensers.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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