The Cows Came Home: OHA Cites Dairy for 47 Safety and Health Violations

Aug. 10, 2011
OSHA has cited Englewood, Colo.-based Meadow Gold Dairies and Denver-based subcontractor Tolin Mechanical for 47 violations safety and health violations, with penalties totaling $326,300.

The citations are part of a programmed inspection conducted under OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting program for high-hazard worksites as well as its national emphasis program on facilities with hazardous chemicals. According to OSHA, the facilities potentially could have been in danger of a catastrophic ammonia leak.

OSHA cited Meadow Gold Dairies, a subsidiary of Dean Foods, for two alleged willful, one alleged repeat, 35 alleged serious and five other-than-serious violations. Proposed fines total $300,300.

“Meadow Gold, as part of a large national corporation, is well aware of the requirements of OSHA standards,” said John Healy, OSHA area director in Englewood. “The violations, which are related to improper management of the anhydrous ammonia system, demonstrate a lax attitude towards a potentially catastrophic atmospheric release.”

The willful violations involve employee exposure to a potential hazardous release of anhydrous ammonia due to a failure to implement a required mechanical integrity program. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health. Other violations issued to Meadow Gold Dairies include:

  • A repeat violation related to hazards associated with inadequate procedures for de-energizing equipment prior to performing maintenance activity. Meadow Gold Dairies was cited for this same violation in 2010 at the same facility.
  • Serious violations for improper preventive maintenance of the anhydrous ammonia system, machine guarding hazards, fall hazards, inadequate personal protective equipment and electrical hazards.
  • Other-than-serious violations include late recording of injury and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log, and various process safety management issues.

Tolin Mechanical was cited for four serious violations carrying $26,000 in proposed penalties. The violations involved employees not being properly trained on emergency procedures and lacking adequate personal protective equipment while doing electrical work.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with Healy or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!