OSHA Investigation – Ammonia Leak at Processing Plant

by | Aug 3, 2022 | Industrial Accident, Personal Injury

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has completed its investigation into the January 19, 2022 chemical leak that occurred at a Pilgrim’s Price processing plant in Canton, Georgia.  During the incident, two workers were hospitalized and another fifty evacuated after an ammonia leak at the facility.

The OSHA investigation determined Pilgrim’s Pride “might have prevented the incident by ensuring required safety standards were followed.” Following the investigation, OSHA issued multiple citations, for violations of the below federal guidelines:

  • 29 CFR 1910.119(d)(3)(i)(H): Process safety information pertaining to the equipment in the process did not include the safety systems.
  • 29 CFR 1910.119(d)(3)(ii): The employer did not document that equipment complies with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices (RAGAGEP).
  • 29 CFR 1910.119(f)(1)(ii)(B):The employer did not develop and implement written operating procedures that provided clear instructions for safely conducting activities involved in each covered process consistent with the process safety information, and did not address the steps required to correct or avoid deviation.
  • 29 CFR 1910.119(i)(2)(ii): Safety, operating, maintenance, and emergency procedures were not adequate.
  • 29 CFR 1910.119(i)(2)(i): Construction and equipment was not in accordance with design specifications.
  • 29 CFR 1910.120(q)(3)(iv):Employees engaged in emergency response and exposed to hazardous substances presenting an inhalation hazard or potential inhalation hazard, did not wear positive-pressure self-contained breathing apparatus until such time that the individual in charge of the incident command system determined through the use of air monitoring that a decreased level of respiratory protection would not result in hazardous exposures to employees.

As a result of the findings, OSHA recommended fines totaling $110,630.00.

It goes without saying that safe companies must have adequate policies and procedures to protect their workers.  It is more than merely having a written down procedure, companies must ensure that their workers understand and follow what has been developed.  This company should have had adequate confined space entry procedures to ensure this incident never occurred.

Our experienced lawyers have handled personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits of all kinds and have the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously injured due to chemical or gas exposure.  The experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an industrial accident.

Our lawyers have represented numerous workers who have sustained serious and catastrophic injuries on a job site as a result of the negligence of another party.  There are strict and short time limits on making claims, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.