Safety Violations at Arkansas Food Processor Brings $156.7K Fine

June 6, 2012

Alleged health and safety violations at an Arkansas food processing plant have resulted in a proposed $156,700 fine for the plant’s owner.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health cited Mountain Lakes, N.J.-based Pinnacle Foods Group LLC for 27 serious safety and health violations at the company’s Fayetteville, Ark., facility, including exposing employees to inhaling ammonia, among other workplace hazards.

OSHA said its Little Rock area investigators found that Pinnacle Foods Group failed to follow OSHA’s process safety management regulations at the company’s facility on West 15th Street, where about 500 employees process fresh and frozen seafood.

The violations involve failing to adhere to process safety management standards, ensure that lockout/tagout procedures are followed, provide appropriate personal protective equipment to prevent skin contact with and inhalation of ammonia, ensure that emergency exits are unlocked, repair or maintain defective electrical equipment and adhere to OSHA’s Emergency Response Standard.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Pinnacle Foods Group, which employs about 4,300 workers nationwide, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Little Rock or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA

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