Region 8 News Release: 10-1791-DEN
Jan. 6, 2011
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites MillerCoors LLC following
investigation of ammonia release, proposes $63,500 in fines
DENVER – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited MillerCoors LLC of Golden, Colo., with 10 alleged serious violations of OSHA standards following the July 2010 release in excess of 2000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia at its Golden brewery. Proposed fines total $63,500.
OSHA's investigation found that two employees working on the ammonia system narrowly escaped serious injury when an uncontrolled release occurred during maintenance operations. Anhydrous ammonia is severely corrosive to skin, eyes and the respiratory system.
"Employers must be diligent in ensuring that employees and the public are not unwittingly exposed to serious hazards caused by inadequate maintenance of systems controlling highly hazardous chemicals," said John Healy, OSHA's area office director in Englewood, Colo. "There is no acceptable reason for any employer to require employees to work around such a dangerous chemical without first ensuring they can do so without compromising their safety and health."
The serious citations address failing to follow accepted preventive maintenance procedures required under OSHA's process safety management standard, failing to develop and implement proper lockout/tagout procedures for energy sources, and deficiencies in the emergency eyewash and respirator programs. An OSHA violation is serious 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.
MillerCoors has 15 business days from receipt of all OSHA citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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 assure 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 releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.