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Region 3 News Release:   III-01-10-10-104-NW
Wed., Oct. 10, 2001
Contact: Kate Dugan
Office: (215) 861-5101
After Hours: (610) 522-9484

OSHA CITES RIVERSIDE DIVISION OF PENN TRAFFIC COMPANY FOR ALLEGED SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS
Proposes $144,500 in penalties for exposing employees to dangers of highly hazardous chemicals

ERIE, Pa. -- Failure to address and correct several serious violations issued during an August 2000 inspection has prompted the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to conduct a follow-up investigation at the Penn Traffic Company's Riverside Division in DuBois, Pa. As a result, the agency issued 24 serious, one repeat and five other-than serious violations with a total proposed penalty of $144,500.

Penn Traffic is a food retailer that employs 15,000 and operates 220 supermarkets in the eastern United States. The Riverside division, which employs 200 workers, is a refrigerated wholesale food distribution center which uses anhydrous ammonia as a refrigerant.

"Most of the serious violations address this employer's failure to develop and implement an effective process safety management program." said John Stranahan, area director of the Erie OSHA office. "Process safety management is intended to prevent or minimize the consequences of a catastrophic release of toxic, reactive, flammable or explosive hazardous chemicals."

OSHA issued 22 alleged serious health violations with a proposed penalty of $114,500; one alleged repeat health violation with a penalty of $25,000; four alleged other-than serious health violations with no penalty; two alleged serious safety violations with a penalty of $4,000; and one alleged other-than-serious safety violation with a penalty of $1,000.

Serious violations are those where there is substantial probability that death or serious physical injury could occur and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

The company has 15 working days to contest the citations before the Independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The inspection was conducted by the Erie OSHA office, Suite B-12, 3939 West Ridge Rd., Erie, Pa., 16506, telephone (814) 833-5758.

A list of citations and penalties is attached.

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Summary of alleged violations and proposed penalties:

Penn Traffic, Riverside Division
DuBois, Pa.

  • 22 serious health violations - $114,500 -majority of violations address the employers failure to develop and implement an effective safety management program including lack of employee involvement; incomplete process safety information; incomplete process hazard analyses; failure to develop operating procedures; lack of training for process operators; no provisions for contractor safety; failure to perform pre-startup safety review; failure to address mechanical integrity; failure to establish and implement written procedures to maintain the mechanical integrity of process equipment; emergency response plan deficiencies; lack of compliance audits. Non process safety management items include personal protective equipment violations and lack of an eye wash station.

  • 1 repeat violation - $25,000 - concerns the company's failure to train each employee involved in maintaining the on-going integrity of process equipment.

  • 4 other-than-serious citations - no penalty - failure to maintain the contract employee injury and illness log; failure to prepare a report of incident investigation; not establishing a system to resolve incident report finding; no reviewing reports with affected; not retaining such reports for five years.

  • 2 serious violations - $4,000 - violations related to the lockout/tagout program which is designed to avoid the inadvertent or unexpected release of stored energy in machine or equipment

  • 1 other-than-serious violation - $1,000 - concerns the company's failure to provide abatement certification from a previous inspection.

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Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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