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Firm faces $51K fine for ammonia violations

USA: A meat processing facility faces a penalty of $51,000 for allegedly exposing workers to ammonia refrigerant.

Following an inspection, which began in October 2014, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued seven serious citations related to the process safety management of the ammonia refrigeration systems used in the pork production process at Seaboard Foods of Guymon, Oklahoma.

The cited violations included failures to provide written operating procedures addressing safety systems and function; failure to develop and implement safe work practices to control hazards during operations; not training workers involved with operating procedures involving the anhydrous ammonia process; and not inspecting and testing process equipment to maintain its mechanical integrity.

In a statement to Oklahoma’s News 9 network, Seaboard Foods said that providing a safe workplace is its top priority and that the company is “cooperating with OSHA to resolve the matter.”

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

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