Named a “severe violator” by federal safety officials, a frozen seafood distributor operating a plant in Brownsville, Texas, has been hit with $155,000 in fines over workplace safety hazards.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations for 11 serious and three repeat violations against Rich Products Corp. on Jan. 22. The citations are the result of OSHA’s inspection of the anhydrous ammonia refrigeration system at the company’s plant.
Rich Products has been placed in OSHA’s Serious Violator Enforcement Program.
Some of the 11 serious violations cited include failing to:
- Provide written notice of annual audiograms.
- Refit workers for hearing protection and training.
- Test ammonia detectors, and implement an emergency response plan for potential release of anhydrous ammonia.
- Provide an annual fit test for respirator use.
- Provide a medical evaluation to determine employee’s ability to use a respirator.
The repeat violations include failing to:
- Include a relief design system for the process safety information to maintain adequate pressure.
- Provide accurate calculations for the ventilation system design.
- Provide adequate procedures for draining oil pot vessels.
Headquartered in St. Simons Island, Ga., Rich Products is a manufacturer and distributor of frozen seafood products. The company has 15 business days from receipt of their 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.