Food Processing Plant Cited for Exposing Worker to Ammonia

Reser’s Fine Foods was cited for 13 serious safety and health violations

Reser’s Fine Foods of Topeka, Kansas, has been cited for 13 serious safety and health violations by OSHA. An investigation revealed that eight pounds of ammonia were released from a compressor seal leak at the facility. One employee was taken to a medical facility for evaluation but was able to return to work later that day.

According to the report, eight of the serious violations were related to OSHA’s process safety procedures, such as lack of training, failing to conduct periodic evaluations of processes and update procedures, and poor record keeping.

"Ammonia can cause immediate damage to skin, eyes and lungs," said Judy Freeman, OSHA's area director in Wichita. "Refrigeration is essential in the food industry, but the dangers of ammonia in the workplace are entirely preventable if employers follow the right procedures."

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