Averting ammonia hazards
WASHINGTON – ConAgra Foods, Inc. signed a settlement agreement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that requires the company to implement administrative and engineering controls to reduce hazards associated with anhydrous ammonia from refrigeration systems.
The agreement covers facilities in Idaho, Arkansas, Missouri and Ohio, according to OSHA. The agency originally cited Nebraska-based ConAgra, doing business as Lamb Weston, Inc., for failing to determine whether older low pressure receivers (LPRs) were being operated safely.
Under the agreement, ConAgra will build enclosures that include normal and emergency ventilation that meets specified requirements, automatic switches for both normal and emergency ventilation and ammonia detection alarms, OSHA said. Exit doors for the enclosures must include panic hardware and must swing in the direction of egress.
The agreement stems from an inspection conducted at the company's American Falls, Idaho facility, initiated under OSHA's PSM Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program. The program was established to reduce or eliminate workplace hazards associated with the catastrophic release of highly hazardous chemicals.