Not so proud: Pilgrim’s Pride fined $170,000 for factory hazards

By Fiona BARRY

- Last updated on GMT

An effigy of the company’s founder, Lonnie "Bo" Pilgrim, outside Pilgrim’s Pride headquarters in Texas.
An effigy of the company’s founder, Lonnie "Bo" Pilgrim, outside Pilgrim’s Pride headquarters in Texas.

Related tags Occupational safety and health Ammonia

De Queen poultry plant, owned by Pilgrim’s Pride, will be fined $170,000 by the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for exposing workers to dangerous chemicals, including anhydrous ammonia in refrigerators.

De Queen’s largest fine was $70,000 for a wilful violation of rules. OSHA found the factory had failed to install an emergency shutdown system for the engine rooms, or an emergency mechanical ventilation system activated by an ammonia detector.

OSHA cited the plant for 11 safety violations after an inspection which began in January.

“These conditions exposed employees to hazards of fire and explosion or inhalation of ammonia vapours​,” said inspectors.

The factory was cited with a $61,500 fine for nine further serious violations, including failing to document machinery tests.

A fine of $38,500 was imposed for repeat breaches of self-inspection requirements and tests of ammonia refrigeration equipment and vessels.

Related topics Food safety & quality

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