SAN ANGELO, Texas — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA, has cited a local meat packing business for exposing workers to the releases of hazardous chemicals.

According to a press release from the Department of Labor, 7 S Packing LLC, operating as Texas Packing Company, 1809 N. Bell St., faces up to $615,640 in penalties.

OSHA determined that the meat-packing plant did not implement a required Process Safety Management program for operating an ammonia refrigeration unit containing more than 10,000 lbs. of anhydrous ammonia. According to the release, Texas Packing additionally failed to provide fall protection, guard machines and equipment, control hazardous energy and implement a respiratory protection program.

The PSM Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program focuses on reducing or eliminating workplace hazards at chemical facilities to protect workers from catastrophic releases of highly hazardous chemicals. PSM standards emphasize the management of hazards associated with highly hazardous chemicals; and establishes a comprehensive management program that integrates technologies, procedures and management practices to prevent an unexpected release.

Texas Packing has has 15 business days from receipt of these citations and penalties to comply; request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director; or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.