US Department of Labor's OSHA cites New Jersey-based Pinnacle Foods
Group for 27 serious safety and health violations in Fayetteville, Ark.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health has cited Mountain Lakes, N.J.-based Pinnacle Foods Group LLC for 27 serious safety and health violations at the company's Fayetteville facility, including exposing employees to inhaling ammonia, among other workplace hazards. Proposed penalties total $156,700.
"This company has seriously jeopardized the safety and health of its employees," said Carlos Reynolds, OSHA's area director in Little Rock. "Following OSHA's standards can prevent serious injuries and illnesses on the job, and employers are responsible for compliance."
OSHA's Little Rock Area Office initiated an inspection on Dec. 12, 2011, under the agency's National Emphasis Program for Chemicals. Investigators found that Pinnacle Foods Group failed to follow OSHA's process safety management regulations at the company's facility on West 15th Street, where about 500 employees process fresh and frozen seafood.
The violations involve failing to adhere to process safety management standards, ensure that lockout/tagout procedures are followed, provide appropriate personal protective equipment to prevent skin contact with and inhalation of ammonia, ensure that emergency exits are unlocked, repair or maintain defective electrical equipment and adhere to OSHA's Emergency Response Standard. 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.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/PinnacleFoods_315973891_0531_12.pdf*
Pinnacle Foods Group, which employs about 4,300 workers nationwide, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Little Rock or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report 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 call the agency's Little Rock office at 501-224-1841.
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.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.