As part of its quest to ensure the safety of workers, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently conducted an inspection at a brewery of Anheuser-Busch Cos. LLC, the makers of beverages including Budweiser, in another state. The company’s brewery in Cartersville, Georgia, received citations in 2010, and this most recent investigation found similar violations. Employers in all industry fields have a responsibility to protect employees from workplace injuries by practicing workplace safety to meet the required standards.
Industrial facilities where anhydrous ammonia is used as a refrigerant have to abide by the requirements of OSHA’s Process Safety Management Standards. Anhydrous ammonia is a highly flammable vapor that can cause severe injury to the lungs, eyes and skin of exposed workers. Companies are required to implement and document procedures to control and detect potential gas leaks and the pressurization of refrigeration units. Malfunctions and leaks could lead to explosions and fire that may result in workplace injuries and even fatalities.
Anheuser-Busch Cos. LLC was cited for several violations, including the failure to develop and install detection systems to identify ammonia leaks. The company also failed to install proper ventilation systems, along with contingency plans for emergency situations. OSHA determined that the company was in violation of several requirements, and that the employer was aware of the hazards that could result in severe physical injuries and even death. The violations were classified as serious.
Workers should not be the victims of on-the-job accidents that are caused by company owners neglecting to maintain proper workplace safety. Most workers in Georgia are covered by the workers’ compensation insurance fund and may claim benefits to cover medical expenses in the event of workplace injuries. Workers who have had their claims denied may benefit from obtaining the services of professionals who specialize in matters related to workers’ compensation.
Source: 19actionnews.com, “Anheuser-Busch brewery cited for system violations”, , Aug. 5, 2014