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Potential for workplace accident from North Carolina company

Many people work in factories and processing plants around the country. Society depends on these jobs to make the products we need to survive. One North Carolina chicken processing company is now being fined for neglecting to adhere to safety standards set by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. The fines come months after the company experienced a dangerous chemical leak.

These regulations are meant to protect North Carolina workers and workers across the country from workplace accidents, including illness and injury. The company was found to have 61 violations at one of its plants in another state, and fines to the company totaled $288,000. OSHA found that the company's safety violations were responsible for an ammonia leak in June 2011.

Ammonia is a gas that can be extremely dangerous to humans when exposed to high concentrated doses. Nineteen of the company's violations were for failing to adhere to procedures that would protect workers from uncontrolled exposure to these chemicals and the adverse health effects associated with exposure. One of the violations was for failing to document respirator fit test and routine training to those responsible for administering first aid. Respirators help protect workers from airborne hazards.

Luckily, no injuries were reported as a result of the ammonia leak, but the potential for extreme danger was present. Had a worker been injured as a result of the ammonia leak, the effects to that person could have changed his or her life. Companies need to be held responsible if their workers are injured as a result of company negligence.

Source: Occupational Health and Safety Online, "Chicken Processor Fined $288K for Process Safety Management Deficiencies," Jan. 9, 2012

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