Chicken Processor Fined $288K for Process Safety Management Deficiencies

Violations related to OSHA's process safety management standards allegedly resulted in an ammonia release at the facility on June 30.

OSHA has cited Case Farms Processing Inc., which operates Case Farms Chicken in Winesburg, Ohio, for 61 safety and health violations. Violations related to OSHA's process safety management standards allegedly resulted in an ammonia release at the facility on June 30. Proposed fines total $288,000.

"Case Farms Chicken has a legal responsibility to follow established process safety management standards to ensure its workers are properly protected from known workplace safety and health hazards," said Deb Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "Failing to ensure protection through appropriate equipment maintenance, training, and adherence to OSHA regulations demonstrates a lack of regard for employees' well-being. OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."

OSHA's safety and health inspections were initiated under the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which focuses enforcement efforts on worksites where the highest rate of injuries and illnesses occur.

Of 26 serious health violations, 19 relate to process safety management standards designed to reduce workers' exposure to hazardous chemicals. Areas of deficiency include process safety information, process hazard analysis, operating procedures, employee training, mechanical integrity, management of change, incident investigation, and response to compliance audits. OSHA's standards contain specific requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using dangerous chemicals.

The process safety management citations along with those for failing to implement appropriate emergency operations are in reference to Case Farms' inadequate response to an ammonia leak, which coincidentally occurred on the morning OSHA, opened its routine inspection. No injuries or illnesses have yet been reported as a result of the ammonia leak.

Of 30 serious safety violations, seven involve failing to provide machine guarding and 16 involve electrical safety standards including unsafe electrical practices that could have resulted in fire, electric shock, or arc flash. The remainder involve failing to provide personal protective equipment to guard workers from falls and electrical hazards, allowing workers to walk on working surfaces without proper protection, and failing to implement and train workers in the use of lockout/tagout procedures to control hazardous energy sources.

Five other-than-serious health and safety citations address an additional lockout/tagout deficiency, as well as a failure to document process safety required tests and incident investigations, record respirator fit tests, and provide refresher training to designated first aid providers.

Case Farms Processing, headquartered in Morganton, N.C., employs about 475 workers at its Winesburg facility and approximately 2,450 nationwide.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Incident investigation guide

    Need some tips for conducting an incident investigation at work after there’s been an occupational injury or illness, or maybe even a near miss? This guide presents a comprehensive overview of methods of performing incident investigations to lead you through your next steps.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Levels of a Risk Matrix

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe
Bulwark FR Quiz

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - July August 2020

    July August 2020

    Featuring:

    • CONFINED SPACES
      Addressing Confined Spaces and Heat Stress Concerns
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      Why Daily Wear FR Garments Make Sense No Matter the Season
    • HAND PROTECTION
      The Magic of New Technology
    • CHEMICAL SAFETY
      Why Effective Chemical Safety Training is More Important Than Ever
    View This Issue