June 21, 2016
OSHA finds cold storage company lacked proper procedures
for use of potentially dangerous ammonia
Employer name: Americold Logistics
Citations received: June 16, 2016
Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued nine serious safety violations to Americold Logistics, a food industry provider of cold storage warehousing and logistical services. A January 2016 complaint investigation found the company violated OSHA's process safety management procedures for using ammonia in its refrigeration warehouse facility.
An investigation by the agency's Kansas City area office found the company failed to:
- Identify ammonia refrigeration piping by name and direction of flow.
- Correct equipment deficiencies.
- Follow good engineering practices.
- Train workers on start-up procedures.
- Conduct training on confined space rescue procedures.
- Train workers on the hazardous chemicals in use.
- Close electrical openings.
- Prevent electrical equipment from being exposed to water and moisture.
Quote: "Exposure to ammonia can cause serious eye, throat and respiratory issues for employees," said Dave Keim, OSHA's acting area director in Kansas City. "When highly hazardous chemicals are not properly controlled and stored there is a potential for unintentional release. Companies like Americold Logistics that use ammonia for refrigeration must carefully monitor their processes to ensure safe use."
Proposed Penalties: $54,800
View Citations here.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Americold owns and operates more than 175 temperature-controlled warehouses worldwide providing warehousing and logistics services to the food industry.
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 Kansas City Area Office at 816-502-0297.
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Release Number: 16-1231-KAN
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