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Repeated ammonia safety violation identified at Case Farms

Case farms have several plants across Ohio at which chickens are processed, packed and frozen for supply to the fast food and supermarket industry. Media reports over several months have reported citations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after inspections at various of Case Farms in Winesburg. An ammonia safety violation was recently discovered.

OSHA says each plant of Case Farms has over 10,000 pounds of ammonia in its refrigeration systems at any given time. Proper management of this safety hazard is vital, and apparently, the company has repeatedly violated safety regulations. The latest inspection at the Winesburg plant yielded 17 citations for violations of which 11 were repeated. The Canton plant received eight citations earlier this month, and again, five of those were for repeat violations.

The federal agency reported that the penalties for safety violations that Case Farms have accumulated this year exceed $1.87 million. Not all violations were related to refrigeration hazards. OSHA also stated that the company failed to provide adequate worker training, and it failed to inspect and test the refrigeration systems for ammonia leaks. Furthermore, there was a lack of written operating instructions for clear guidance to workers in the plants.

Workplace safety is always a matter of great concern to workers and their families. Circumstances such as these, which OSHA says have been ongoing for more than 25 years, are unacceptable. Every safety violation threatens the lives and health of workers. Fortunately, the Ohio workers' compensation program looks out for the interests of injured workers, including the families of those killed in a workplace accident. Benefits claims may be pursued to obtain compensation for medical expenses and lost wages resulting from workplace injuries.

Source: coolingpost.com, "$462,000 fine for ammonia safety violations", Dec. 9, 2015

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