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October 12, 2012
Dollar stores cited for PSM problems

OSHA has cited 99 Cent Only Stores Texas, Inc. with 19 violations at the company’s Houston distribution center. The violations related to process safety management (PSM) and included exposing workers to anhydrous ammonia while storing frozen products.

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An inspection was initiated as part of OSHA’s national emphasis program on PSM for covered chemical facilities. Proposed penalties total $121,000.

“PSM prevents the unexpected release of toxic, reactive, or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals,” explained Area Director David Doucet.

Anhydrous ammonia keeps food products cold. A release of the chemical can expose workers to extreme lung, eye, and skin irritation, as well as potential burns.

99 Cent Only Stores Texas employs about 12,000 workers and has operations in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas.

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