Hastings, Neb.-based Noah's Ark Processors is facing $182,926 in OSHA penalties after a serious accident at one of its meat processing facilities.
The agency discovered 16 serious safety violations following an incident in which an employee suffered severe burns caused by exposure to anhydrous ammonia, a gas used as an industrial refrigerant.
"When employers fail to properly document procedures and control highly hazardous chemicals, there is the potential for unintentional releases that can result in serious and fatal injuries," said Omaha Area Director Jeff Funke, in a statement. "By implementing and sustaining workplace safety and health programs, employers can monitor their processes to ensure safeguards are in place to protect workers."
OSHA cited the company for process safety management (PSM) program deficiencies, failing to guard roof openings, and electrical safety and lockout/tagout violations. The PSM standard requires employers to properly manage hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals, according to the agency.
The company has 15 business days to respond citations and penalties through compliance, requesting an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contesting the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.