Fertilizer Maker Faces Process Safety Fines

Thursday, January 26, 2012 @ 05:01 PM gHale


Loveland Products Inc. in Fairbury, NB, faces $148,000 in fines and 25 safety violations, 14 of which relate directly to regulating the process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.

OSHA initiated its inspection of the liquid-based fertilizer producer under the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high occupational injury and illness rates, and its process safety management (PSM) national emphasis program for chemical manufacturers.

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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.

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 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. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard the employer knew or should have known.

The company also received one other-than-serious violation with no penalty for failing to document powered industrial truck training. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.



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