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Hawaii food warehouse cited with 63 health and safety violations

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The U.S. Department of Labor has cited a Hawaii refrigerated food warehouse with 63 health and safety violations and proposed fines of $251,330.

The agency claims the Honolulu warehouse occupied by Unicold Corp. and nine tenants sealed exit doors and blocked emergency exit routes to gain additional storage space, placing workers in jeopardy.

Inspectors found 13 of the exit doors were locked from the outside and sealed shut, and that workers could not open or reach emergency exit doors because storage racks filled with pallets of products blocked the doors.

Other willful violations include failure to label exit routes and post signs clearly indicating the route to the nearest exit. 

In addition, the department said there were serious violations related to process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals in the ammonia refrigeration system; missing stair railings; unguarded floor openings on stairway platforms; deficiencies in the company’s plan for the response to workplace emergencies; and inadequate electrical equipment. 

The joint inspections were conducted in February by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Hawaii’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ Occupational Safety and Health Division.

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