Fertilizer Producer Hit with $148,000 Fine for Process Safety Management Violations

Of 24 serious violations, those related to process safety management include incorrect and incomplete process and implementation diagrams, a deficient process hazard analysis of the system, and incomplete operating procedures.

OSHA has cited Loveland Products Inc. in Fairbury, Neb., for 25 safety violations, 14 of which relate directly to OSHA's standard regulating the process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals. Proposed penalties total $148,000.

OSHA initiated its inspection of the liquid-based fertilizer producer under both the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high occupational injury and illness rates, and its process safety management national emphasis program for chemical manufacturers. OSHA's PSM standard contains specific requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using dangerous chemicals, and establishes a comprehensive management program integrating technologies, procedures, and management practices.

"OSHA has a stringent process safety management standard, and it is imperative that employers rigorously update and properly maintain each element of the process to minimize hazards, and provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers and educating employers about the risks involved with exposure to hazardous chemicals."

Of 24 serious violations, those related to process safety management include incorrect and incomplete process and implementation diagrams, a deficient process hazard analysis of the system, incomplete operating procedures, an inadequate mechanical integrity program for the system, inappropriate inspections and tests of the system, and a lack of hot work permits. OSHA also found compliance audits to be insufficient and that the employer failed to follow up on compliance audit findings. Other serious violations involve electrical hazards as well as deficiencies with walking/working surfaces, overhead storage, an emergency action plan, hazard communication, and procedures for the lockout/tagout of energy sources.

One other-than-serious violation with no penalty was issued for failing to document powered industrial truck training.

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