Reser's faces $71K OSHA fine

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WICHITA, Kan. – Reser’s Fine Foods in Topeka, Kan., faces $71,700 penalty after a worker was exposed to refrigerant ammonia, the Occupational Safety and Health and Administration of the US Dept. of Labor reported. The action came from the agency’s Wichita, Kan., office.

The agency began investigating the company after receiving a complaint about an ammonia leak. Inspectors found that a compressor seal leak at the facility released 8 lbs. of ammonia on March 3. The plant was evacuated, and one worker was hospitalized but was able to return to work later that day, OSHA said.

The agency cited the Reser’s facility for 13 serious safety and health violations, eight of which involved federal process safety procedures that require companies to manage hazards associated with the process of using hazardous chemical. OSHA also found doors that were not properly marked as emergency exits, and workers were not properly protected from operating machinery parts during service and maintenance.

Reser’s, which is based in Beaverton, Ore., produces Reser’s American Classics deli salads, Reser’s Sensational Sides, and Stonemill Kitchens gourmet dips.
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