Safety Fines for Hazardous Chemicals

Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 03:12 PM gHale


Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. in Lufkin, TX, is facing $99,000 in fines for three repeat and four serious violations following a June inspection as part of the agency’s Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities national emphasis program, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“Process safety management prevents the unexpected release of toxic, reactive or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals,” said David Doucet, director of OSHA’s Houston North office. “Exposure to highly hazardous chemicals can be fatal. OSHA will not tolerate a company’s failure to provide a safe and healthful working environment.”

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The repeat citations issued for the process safety management standard violations include failing to inspect and test process equipment consistent with applicable manufacturers’ recommendations and good engineering practices, ensure that process equipment complies with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices, and properly label containers holding hazard chemicals. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously faced citations for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company faced similar violations at its site in Live Oak, FL, in April 2008 and at the work site in Russellville, AL, in September 2010.

Serious violations include failing to correct deficiencies in process equipment, ensure process safety information pertaining to equipment includes design codes and standards and establish and implement written procedures to manage changes of the process. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Greeley, CO-based Pilgrim’s Pride, a chicken processing and wholesale distribution company, operates in 12 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. The company employs 33,000 workers companywide with 1,400 at the Lufkin facility.



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