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Bud brewer cited for ammonia violations

29099164_sUSA: Anheuser-Busch, brewer of Budweiser and Bud Light, has been cited for safety violations with the ammonia refrigeration system at its Columbus plant. 

The well-known brewer has been cited by the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for two repeat and eight serious safety violations. Proposed penalties total $92,400.

“Anheuser Busch has a responsibility to ensure the safe operation of its refrigeration systems by implementing an engineering process for the detection and control of potential ammonia systems releases,” said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA’s area director in Columbus.

An inspection in February this year found the Anheuser-Busch plant failed to develop procedures for normal and emergency shutdown and restarting refrigeration systems. The company’s process hazard analysis failed to address the dangers of overpressurisation and ammonia release completely, and failed to address engineering controls and their potential failure. In addition, the company did not install ammonia detection systems or a continuous emergency ventilation system.

The company was issued two repeat citations for failing to document properly the ammonia refrigeration system and the building ventilation design for use in emergencies. The company failed to document the design for a suction header pressure relief system adequately.

The company was cited for similar violations in 2010 at a brewery in Cartersville, Georgia.

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

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