March 15, 2016 BOS 2016-037
Arctic Glacier USA exposed employees to serious chemical,
electrical and exit hazards at Hicksville, Long Island ice plant
Ice manufacturer faces $67K in OSHA penalties
WESTBURY, NY - To make ice products at Arctic Glacier U.S.A. Inc.'s Hicksville plant, the company uses large amounts of anhydrous ammonia in the plant's refrigeration system. When working with large amounts of hazardous chemicals such as ammonia, an employer must have a comprehensive and effective program in place for their safe management and the protection of its workers.
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration identified deficiencies in the Hicksville plant's Process Safety Management* program. Uncorrected, these deficiencies could have serious consequences for the plant's employees.
OSHA's inspection found that the plant failed to:
- Document that equipment used in the refrigeration system complied with recognized and generally accepted engineering practices.
- Conduct a pre-startup safety review following modifications to the refrigeration system.
- Implement procedures for controlling an outside contractor's access to process areas.
- Evaluate an outside contractor's safety and health programs.
"An uncontrolled release of anhydrous ammonia can have catastrophic and lethal consequences. To prevent a tragedy, it is vital that Arctic Glacier ensure that all requirements for the safe operation and management of its refrigeration system are complete, up-to-date and effective," said Anthony Ciuffo, OSHA's Long Island Area Director.
Other hazards identified during OSHA's inspection included:
- Lack of weatherproof covers on circuit breakers in wet locations.
- Spliced and uninsulated power cords.
- An exposed electrical switch.
- Unmarked exits. (OSHA cited Arctic Glacier for similar exit hazards at its Mamaroneck location in February 2013.)
These conditions led the agency to cite Arctic Glacier for one repeat and seven serious violations of workplace safety standards and proposed fines totaling $67,000. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The citations can be viewed here*.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Long Island office at 516-334-3434.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
Ted Fitzgerald, 617-565-2075, firstname.lastname@example.org
Release Number: 16-447-NEW
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