FORT WORTH, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Five Star Custom Foods Ltd. for 25 serious safety and health violations. Subcontractor Packers Sanitation Services Inc. has been cited for two serious safety violations concerning exposure to hazardous chemicals at the company’s facility on East First Street. Penalties total $134,000 collectively.
OSHA officials opened an investigation on June 12 under the agency’s national emphasis program on process safety management, known as PSM, for covered chemical facilities. Investigators found that employees, while conducting operations in the facility’s refrigeration system, were exposed to the catastrophic release of toxic and corrosive chemicals.
“Exposing employees to highly hazardous chemicals, such as anhydrous ammonia, can be fatal,” said Jack Rector, the agency’s area director in Fort Worth. “OSHA’s standards must be followed to prevent accidents and illnesses.”
Fourteen serious violations involve failing to ensure that equipment related to the process complied with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices; recommendations in the process hazard analysis were processed; standard operating procedures were annually certified; an ammonia detector system was provided; contract employees were informed of the potential of fire and/or toxic release hazards; and compliance audits were conducted at least every three years.
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