Safety Blunders in Underground Facility Lead to $117K in Penalties

OSHA has cited Americold Logistics LLC in Carthage, Mo., for alleged safety and health violations and has proposed $117,000 in penalties. The agency cited the company following a targeted inspection conducted under its site-specific targeting program and found 19 alleged serious violations and one other-than-serious violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

"The workers at the company's underground, refrigerated warehouse and distribution facility were needlessly exposed to multiple episodes of life-threatening injury and chemical exposure due to improper procedures and malfunctioning equipment," said Charles Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "It is imperative that employers eliminate hazards and provide a safe and healthful working environment for their workers to prevent injuries and illnesses from occurring."

The serious violations relate to inadequate process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals, lack of emergency preparedness and response procedures, and poor respiratory protection for workers. Furthermore, violations were identified relating to permit-required confined spaces, lockout/tagout procedures to prevent accidental energy start-up, electrical equipment and safe work practices, and powered industrial truck operations. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which an employer knew or should have known.

The other-than-serious violation relates to inadequate employee access to personal sampling results. OSHA issues other-than-serious citations when a violation is directly related to safety and health but unlikely to cause death or serious physical harm.

Americold has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Kansas City, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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