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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited AmeriCold Logistics LLC for serious workplace hazards that are endangering its employees at the company's Burley, Idaho, facility. The company's Nampa, Idaho, facility was cited for similar violations in April.
"Many of the alleged violations cited were for deficiencies in AmeriCold Logistics' process safety management, or PSM, program," said Dean Ikeda, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Seattle. "When properly implemented, PSM programs help ensure that operations involving hazardous chemicals are performed in a safe manner."
OSHA's Boise Area Office in Idaho conducted an inspection under its Chemical Industry National Emphasis Program at the AmeriCold Logistics Burley facility and found 11 alleged serious and five alleged repeat violations carrying a total of $189,000 in proposed penalties.
The serious violations related to PSM involve worker exposure to hazards due to inadequate system design information, a failure to correct equipment deficiencies, inadequate inspections of process equipment, inadequate process hazard analysis, and lack of mechanical integrity inspection documentation and written procedures for such inspections. Serious violations not related to PSM involve worker exposure to hazards due to lack of fall protection at a ladder access, lack of midrail on catwalks, unguarded evaporator fan blades and an inadequate number of exit routes. Serious citations are issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.
The repeat violations include unguarded open-sided floors or platforms, lack of an employee alarm system, lack of piping and instrument diagrams for equipment in safety information, lack of proper training for employees and lack of written procedures to maintain equipment. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last three years.
AmeriCold Logistics has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Boise or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.