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Region 4 News Release: 12-951-ATL (182)
May 24, 2012
Contact: Michael D'Aquino    Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076    404-562-2078
E-mail: d'aquino.michael@dol.gov    wald.michael@dol.gov

Brunswick, Ga., Rich Products Corp. cited by US Department of Labor's
OSHA for 23 safety violations; proposed penalties more than $80,000

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Rich Products Corp. for 23 safety violations following an inspection prompted by complaints about the frozen food manufacturing facility in Brunswick. Proposed penalties total $80,385.

The company was cited with 20 serious violations for exposing workers to slipping hazards due to wet floors; fall hazards due to holes in the floor around equipment on elevated platforms; workplace entry and exit hazards due to missing signs; an unsafe ammonia refrigeration system due to incomplete process safety information; and amputation and electrical hazards from not completely guarding process equipment. Additional violations involve a failure to ensure workers were using personal protective equipment, including goggles, face shields and gloves while working with corrosive chemicals; audit the process safety management program; lockout/tagout procedures completely isolated energy sources; post warning signs; and permit partial hindrance to exit routes and protect workers from hot piping and missing guardrails on elevated platforms. 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.

Three other-than-serious violations were also cited with no monetary penalty. They were failing to correctly document the current implemented safeguards; determine the severity of consequences on the process hazard analysis checklist for the ammonia refrigeration system; and annually certify the current and accurate status of operating procedures throughout the ammonia refrigeration system, so that it does not use fixed wiring for the recirculation vessel. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

"This inspection identified a wide range of safety hazards that need to be eliminated in order to protect workers," said Robert Vazzi, OSHA's area director in Savannah, Ga. "It is the employer's responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace."

Rich Products Corp., which operates 18 food-processing facilities throughout the United States and is a leading supplier of nondairy and frozen food to food-service, in-store bakeries, retail and industrial marketplaces, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings 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 the agency's Savannah office at 912-652-4393.

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.

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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.


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