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OSHA Regional News Brief
Region 5

Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.



May 12, 2016



OSHA finds refrigeration warehouse lacked
proper procedures for handling ammonia

Employer name: Ozburn-Hessey Logistics LLC
Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin

Citations issued: May 5, 2016

Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued nine serious and two other-than-serious violations to Ozburn-Hessey Logistics LLC. A January 2016 complaint investigation found the manufacturer violated OSHA's process safety management procedures for ammonia used in the company's refrigeration warehouse facility where more than 10,000 pounds of ammonia are in use.

An investigation by the agency's Appleton area office found the company failed to:

  • Correct ice buildup, blistered and rusted piping on ammonia lines.
  • Develop operational procedures to maintain the ongoing integrity of refrigeration equipment.
  • Develop procedures for the safe completion of refrigeration related tasks while working at elevations.
  • Document inspections and maintenance for the ammonia refrigeration evaporator condenser.
  • Ensure piping and instrumentation diagrams are accurate.
  • Provide clear instructions to employees to mitigate ammonia releases during service and maintenance.
  • Provide personal protective and detection equipment necessary in the event of ammonia release.
  • Keep catwalks and passageways in good repair.

Quote: "Exposure to ammonia can cause serious eye, throat and respiratory issues for employees," said Robert Bonack, OSHA's area director in Appleton. "When highly hazardous chemicals are not properly controlled and stored there is a potential for unintentional release. Companies that use refrigeration ammonia must carefully monitor their processes to ensure safe use."

Proposed Penalties: $42,000

View Citations here.

Based in Brentwood, Tennessee, the global supply company has 120 locations worldwide employing more than 10,000 workers.

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 Appleton Area Office at 920-734-4521.

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Media Contacts:

Scott Allen, 312-353-6976,
Rhonda Burke, 312-353-6976,

Release Number: 16-935-CHI

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