Food Processing Company Cited for Exposing Workers to Dangerous CO2 Levels

OSHA issued citations to Acadian Fine Foods, LLC for allegedly exposing workers to dangerous carbon dioxide levels.

OSHA has issued 16 serious and repeat violations to Acadian Fine Foods, LLC for exposing workers to dangerous levels of carbon dioxide, among other hazards, according to a report from the agency. The agency began its inspection at the food processing company's Church Point processing plant in December 2013. The company faces $121,660 in proposed fines for 14 serious, one willful and one repeat violation.

The 14 serious violations ($72,380 in proposed fines) are for the company's failure to guard moving machine parts, conduct annual inspections of lockout/tagout procedures, properly identify respiratory hazards, include safety data sheets for carbon dioxide, sanitizer and boiler water treatment, provide personal protective equipment and more. The willful citation ($38,500 in proposed fines) was issued for exposing workers to carbon dioxide levels that were deemed life threatening and were "above the eight-hour time-weighted average of the permissible exposure limits." The employer failed to implement proper controls to reduce the CO2 levels in the plant and provide workers with adequate respiratory protection. In addition, the company received one repeat violation ($10,780 in proposed fines) for failing to ensure an electrical panel box was enclosed to eliminate worker exposure to live electrical wires.

"Acadian Fine Foods exposed employees to levels of carbon dioxide that were at least four times above the permissible exposure limit. This glaring neglect of worker health and safety will not be tolerated," said Dorinda Folse, OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge. "OSHA's safety and health standards must be followed to prevent worker injuries and fatalities. It is the employer's responsibility to find and fix these hazards."

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