OSHA Cites Florida Farm After Ammonia Leak Hurts Worker

OSHA cited the farm for failing to develop procedures for notifying employees of emergencies and evacuation, and a written emergency response plan; and failing to provide safety and health training to employees operating ammonia refrigeration systems and ensure that employees required to respond to ammonia releases were provided a full-face respirator fit test.

OSHA has cited Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc., based in Belle Glade, Fla., for exposing employees to workplace safety hazards after a worker required medical treatment due to an anhydrous ammonia leak in the farm's packaging house. The company faces $95,472 in proposed penalties.

OSHA cited the farm for failing to develop procedures for notifying employees of emergencies and evacuation, and a written emergency response plan; and failing to provide safety and health training to employees operating ammonia refrigeration systems and ensure that employees required to respond to ammonia releases were provided a full-face respirator fit test.

The agency's inspection is covered under OSHA's National Emphasis Program on Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities.

"This incident reveals the harm that can result when chemical facilities fail to comply with worker safety regulations," said OSHA Fort Lauderdale Area Director Condell Eastmond. "Employers are required to conduct a process hazard analysis to review what could go wrong, and what safeguards must be used to prevent releases of hazardous chemicals."

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