Buffalo-area cheese manufacturer Sorrento Lactalis faces $241,000 in fines following an OSHA inspection that revealed numerous hazards at its plant.
OSHA says it discovered faulty procedures for maintaining the plant’s refrigeration system. That could have led to more than bad cheese. Refrigeration failures can cause anhydrous ammonia leaks, which could result in chemical burns, breathing difficulty, lung damage and—at high enough concentrations—death.
Because OSHA inspectors had discovered the same issues during previous inspections, Sorrento faces five repeat violations worth $192,500 in fines.
The inspection also uncovered eight serious violations, including poor inspection procedures, incomplete documentation and electrical hazards. OSHA also cited the company for inadequate procedures for making sure equipment didn’t accidentally turn on during maintenance. Fines for those violations total $48,500.
Note: OSHA inspections should trigger after-action reviews aimed at refining policies and procedures that could prevent recurrence.