Occupational Health & Safety

OSHA Cites Frozen Food Maker for Ammonia Exposures

The agency has issued $185,700 in penalties to Schwan's Global Supply Chain Inc., the manufacturing arm of The Schwan Food Company, after an inspection of its Atlanta plant.

OSHA announced it has cited Schwan's Global Supply Chain Inc., which manufactures frozen foods sold by its parent company and other companies, for 32 alleged serious safety and health violations at its Atlanta facility. Two other companies providing maintenance and staffing services for Schwan's -- Cimco Refrigeration Inc. and Adecco USA Inc. – also were cited for 18 safety and health violations.

"All workers, whether full-time or temporary, deserve the same commitment and access to a safe workplace. Schwan's, Cimco Refrigeration, and Adecco are not providing that for their employees," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "OSHA standards are there to protect workers from predictable and preventable injuries and deaths. These standards were disregarded at the expense of worker safety."

OSHA announced that its inspectors found the employers did not provide adequate training for employees to work safely with ammonia, exposed workers to unguarded machines and damaging noise levels, and failed to provide properly fitted PPE. OSHA inspected the facility after a worker complained.

Schwan's Global Supply Chain Inc. is the manufacturing arm of The Schwan Food Company, a Marshall, Minn.-based company. The Atlanta facility makes dough, cookies, and pie crusts and employs approximately 494 workers, according to OSHA.

This inspection involved "special attention to the hazards facing temporary workers to determine the role of the host employer and the staffing agency in failing to eliminate serious hazards," according to the agency.

The penalties assessed against Cimco, which provided service and maintenance for the ammonia refrigeration system at Schwan's Atlanta facility, totaled $20,160.

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