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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Seafood processor fined USD 214,500 for violations  (อ่าน 2222 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: มิถุนายน 03, 2010, 08:14:10 PM »


High Liner Foods is facing the prospect of being fined for 17 alleged violations by the US government. (Photo: Stock File)

Seafood processor fined USD 214,500 for violations

UNITED STATES
Thursday, June 03, 2010, 15:10 (GMT + 9)


The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed fining High Liner Foods Inc USD 214,500 for 17 alleged violations of workplace health and safety standards at the company's seafood processing plant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

High Liner is mostly at fault for failing to address deficiencies in its anhydrous ammonia piping system used for freezing, the department claimed.

OSHA's found that the company did not properly inspect and test the piping system, which was found corroded and encased in ice in many places. Also, previously identified deficiencies in the system had not been fixed.

OSHA has for these problems issued the company two willful citations with USD 140,000 in proposed fines. A willful violation is one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for worker safety and health.

"Failing to inspect and test the ammonia piping system and take corrective action exposes workers to the possibility of an ammonia leak or similar severe or catastrophic incident," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's area director for New Hampshire. "For the health and safety of their workers, employers must proactively assess and address hazards associated with processes and equipment that use large amounts of ammonia or other hazardous chemicals."

OSHA also found that the plant failed to label and identify piping systems, remove frost and ice accumulations from piping, properly locate relief valves, make sure the main ammonia shutoff valve was accessible, ensure that an exit door opened to the outside, run compliance audits, inspect and test the mechanical integrity of process equipment, provide workers with hand protection and make available process safety information.

These conditions led to nine serious citations and USD 44,500 in fines. Serious citations are issued by OSHA when death or serious physical harm may result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

High Liner Foods was also issued one repeat citation and a USD 25,000 fine for not properly calibrating equipment that inspects and test compressors and cryolators. An identical hazard was cited by OSHA at the company's Danvers, Massachusetts, plant last year.

Lastly, five other-than-serious citations with USD 5,000 in fines were issued for incomplete or inadequate recording of occupational illnesses and injuries.

Company President Keith Decker said his company will continue to work closely and cooperate with OSHA on the results of the detailed review of the Portsmouth plant, York Weekly reports.

"We take safety very seriously at High Liner Foods," he stated. "We believe we have a very good safety record at the Portsmouth plant."

High Liner has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply with requirements, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Concord Area Office.

By Natalia Real
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com
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