OSHA fines Echo Lake Foods for safety violations
by Meat&Poultry Staff
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BURLINGTON, Wis. – Echo Lake Foods Inc. was cited for 27 safety violations and face fines of $150,000, according to the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA reported multiple violations of the agency's process safety management standards for facilities that use highly hazardous chemicals at the company's Burlington and Franksville, Wis., frozen food production plants. The agency also received complaints alleging problems with the ammonia refrigeration systems at those facilities. A fire at the Burlington facility Jan. 30 destroyed parts of the plant's ammonia refrigeration system and caused other significant property damage. No serious injuries were reported.
The company was cited for 22 process safety management violations at both facilities. The violations involved “multiple instances of not addressing the consequences of the failure of various engineering and administrative controls. The company also failed to address procedures to perform oil draining activities safely for ammonia compressors and provide and document worker training involving the ammonia systems and related operating equipment.”
OSHA found four additional serious violations at the Burlington facility that involved insufficient guardrails on platforms; inadequate exit routes; lack of an emergency eyewash station near a compressor room; and missing cover plates on several electrical switches. In Franksville, one additional serious violation included failing to certify that periodic inspections of hazardous energy control procedures had been performed.
Echo Lake Foods is a family owned frozen-food manufacturer that produces egg products and breakfast entrées. The company employs 450 workers at its facilities. The company operates a production and storage facility in Owensboro, Ky. in addition to the Burlington and Franksville operations. OSHA inspected the Wisconsin facilities 13 times and issued 45 citations. The Kentucky facility received two violations.