Illinois Grocer Busted for Process Safety Management Violations

OSHA has cited the company for 13 safety violations with $75,000 in proposed penalties.

OSHA has cited Jewel Food Stores Inc. in Franklin Park, Ill., for 13 safety violations after an evaluation of the company's process safety management system was found lacking several required elements for handling ammonia refrigeration systems used in the food warehouse/distribution center. Proposed penalties total $75,000.

"Developing and following written procedures for the handling of substances like ammonia is critical to employees' safety," said Diane Turek, OSHA's director for the Chicago North Area Office located in Des Plaines. "Employers are responsible for knowing what hazards exist in their workplaces and following OSHA's regulations."

One repeat violation was cited for failing to develop and implement written operating procedures consistent with process safety information that provided clear instruction for safely conducting activities related to each covered process. Jewel Food Stores was cited for the same violation in March 2010.

Ten serious violations involve failing to document inspections and tests performed on process equipment to maintain its mechanical integrity; not performing inspections and tests at applicable manufacturers' recommendations; not following generally accepted good engineering practices when performing inspections and testing of process equipment; not establishing and implementing written procedures to maintain the integrity of process equipment; and not annually certifying that operation procedures were current and accurate. Additionally, the process safety information did not include the safe upper and lower limits of items such as temperatures, pressures, flows or compositions, and it did not include piping and instrument diagrams. Finally, the hazard analysis did not address the hazards of the process and operating procedures, and it did not address normal operations for each operating phase.

Two other-than-serious violations were cited for failing to maintain a contract employee injury and illness log, and lacking procedures for handling small releases of ammonia in the emergency action plan.

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