Ammonia Leak at Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. Facility Leads to Citations

Ammonia Leak at Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. Facility Leads to Citations

Workers were required to evacuate following the ammonia leak in January.

After an ammonia leak, a pork and poultry producer was cited by OSHA.

In January 2022, an ammonia leak caused 50 workers to evacuate a Georgia poultry processing plant. According to a press release, two workers were hospitalized and one was treated on the scene.

An OSHA investigation determined the cause of the leak to be “uncontrolled temperature and pressure conditions.” The agency cited Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. for nine serious citations and proposed penalties of $110,630.

Per the press release, the citations were for “inadequately implementing and maintaining the process safety management program for controlling anhydrous ammonia hazards in industrial refrigeration systems. Specifically, the employer failed to:

  • Confirm a pre-startup safety review before introducing a highly hazardous chemical into an existing process, and include instructions to address process deviations.
  • Train workers on the physical and health hazards of anhydrous ammonia.
  • Ensure exit signs were properly illuminated and clearly identified.
  • Maintain safe walking and working surfaces.”

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. employs about 58,000 workers in the U.S., Europe, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

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