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Region 7 News Release 10-1098-KAN
Aug. 11, 2010
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
Phone: 303-844-1302
Email: kulczewski.richard@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA assesses $48,500 in penalties after
finding 24 serious violations at Hi Plains Feed, of Garden City, Kan.

WICHITA, Kan. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Hi Plains Feed LLC, of Garden City, Kan., for 24 alleged serious violations of process safety management for hazards found with its anhydrous ammonia system. Proposed penalties total $48,500.

"Our inspection identified numerous hazards that must be addressed," said Charles Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "OSHA's process safety management standard is stringent and comprehensive because a leak could have catastrophic consequences. It is imperative that employers take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards and provide a safe working environment for all of their employees."

OSHA initiated an investigation of Hi Plains Feed in February under its site-specific targeting program. Serious violations cited include a lack of employee participation in and training of system operators; failure to compile process safety information and to conduct process hazard analyses; lack of written operating procedures for the ammonia process; failure to evaluate contractor safety performance and to conduct a pre-startup review after a significant facility modification; as well as a failure to manage changes and mechanical integrity of process equipment, to perform anhydrous ammonia release incident investigations, to have an adequate facility emergency plan and to have compliance certification of the program.

Other serious violations include failure to maintain floors in a clean and dry condition; fall hazards due to an unguarded pit opening and lack of aerial lift training; failure to have at least two s