LAUREL, Miss. – Wayne Farms LLC faces $119,341 in penalties for exposing employees to hazardous chemicals, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the US Dept. of Labor reported.

OSHA cited the poultry processor for failing to provide an operable alarm that would have indicated the release of 2,100 lbs. of anhydrous ammonia at a poultry plant. The incident occurred on Jan. 27, and 12 employees were hospitalized.

OSHA also cited Wayne Farms for failing to:

  • Equip an ammonia refrigeration system with a pressure relief device as referenced by the manufacturer’s operating manual;
  • Train technicians to use an alternative over-pressure safety procedure to prevent pipes from rupturing and releasing anhydrous ammonia;
  • Perform a management of change procedure to determine the effects of removing safety relief devices from all condensers;
  • Make available medical surveillance for response team members exposed to hazardous substances above the permissible exposure limits;
  • Inspect Level B respiratory protection equipment; and
  • Provide a medical evaluation to determine each employee’s ability to use a respirator.

Wayne Farms has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.