A Pilgrim’s Pride processing plant in DeQueen, Ark., was cited for 11 safety violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The poultry processing plant was found to have exposed workers to hazardous chemicals and faces proposed penalties of $170,000, according to an OSHA press release.
The violations were revealed in a January inspection conducted by federal agents. At that time, the company received a citation for failing to document that an emergency shutdown system was activated by an ammonia leak. That violation carries a $70,000 fine, according to the release.
The company also received citations for nine serious violations for deficiencies of relief valves and failing to provide process hazard analysis, operating procedures, testing procedures and management of change procedures. Fines for the serious violations totaled $61,500.
The repeat violation, which carries a $38,000 fine, was cited for failing to ensure the adequate frequency of self-inspections and tests of ammonia refrigeration equipment and vessels.
Pilgrim's Pride, which is based in Greeley, Colo., is a subsidiary of the Brazilian meat giant JBS SA and a major competitor of Tyson Foods Inc.