OSHA Proposes $200,000 in Fines for Hazards at N.H. Seafood Plant

June 2, 2010
Alleges deficiencies in piping system used for freezing

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited High Liner Foods for 17 alleged violations of workplace health and safety standards at its Portsmouth, N.H.-based factory. Two of the citations were identified as willful, which OSHA defines as committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for worker safety and health.

The proposed fines total $214,000, the agency said in a news release.

OSHA issued two willful citations following an investigation in which it allegedly discovered the company failed to properly inspect and test its anhydrous ammonia piping system, which was corroded and encased in ice multiple locations. The company also failed to correct previously identified problems in the system, the U.S. Labor Department agency said.

Additional violations noted at High Liner include failure to: label and identify piping systems, properly locate relief valves, ensure that the main ammonia shutoff valve was accessible, conduct compliance audits, provide workers with hand protection and make process safety information available.

The company has 15 days from the receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA or contest the findings.

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