BUFFALO, NY – Rosina Food Products Inc. was cited with nine serious violations of workplace safety standards at the company’s West Seneca, NY, production facility, according to the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

An inspection by OSHA’s Buffalo Area Office revealed deficiencies in the operation and maintenance of the plant’s refrigeration system and anhydrous ammonia used in the refrigeration system. The company, which produces meatballs, pizza toppings, sausage and appetizers, faces proposed penalties of $54,750.

Specifically, OSHA found the plant lacked:

• Effective operating procedures for all emergency shutdown procedures of the refrigeration system;
• Necessary corrective actions identified during hazard analyses of the refrigeration process;
• Clear instructions for safely conducting refrigeration procedures;
• Written procedures to maintain the ongoing mechanical integrity of all equipment used in the refrigeration process; and
• Procedures for handling small releases of anhydrous ammonia.

"The stringent and comprehensive requirements of OSHA's process safety management standard are designed to prevent catastrophic incidents, such as the uncontrolled release of highly hazardous chemicals, including ammonia," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director for western New York. "This requires full, effective and proactive adherence to the standard's requirements by the employer."

Additionally, OSHA inspectors found the company did not perform all required safety testing. The plant also did not develop specific procedures for locking out machines, did not inspect such procedures and did not use group lockout/tagout procedures as required.