Birds Eye plant had history of OSHA violations prior to Ammonia leak

Posted at 7:13 PM, Jul 30, 2018

A dangerous chemical leak Sunday morning sent 15 people to the hospital. As of Monday afternoon, three remain hospitalized.

It happened at the Birds Eye Foods plant in Darien as a result of an Ammonia leak.

After the incident, employees contacted TODAY'S TMJ4 saying no alarm sounded warning them of the toxic leak. The I-Team discovered the company has a history of problems with workplace safety.

The I-Team discovered Birds Eye Foods has paid more than $200,000 in workplace safety violations since 2014, most of which the federal government has labeled serious.

The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) was last at the plant in January 2018, noting five violations. Four were considered serious, one a repeat offense for not having practices to prevent employees from getting hurt while fixing equipment. 

In 2016, Birds Eye Foods was cited for the same issue.

In 2014, the plant received fifteen citations, totaling more than $100,000 in fines including; not teaching employees the hazards of chemicals at work, violating a regulation prohibiting open flames and smoking in places where flammable liquids are stored, a lack of ventilation and not providing protective equipment from hazardous materials- just to name a few.

As of Monday, OSHA's website didn't note any investigation into the Ammonia leak, though the company said Sunday it would be notifying OSHA of the incident. The company declined to answer any questions about any alarms.