After two years of litigation to correct dozens of hazards that might have had catastrophic effects on its workers and the surrounding community, Unicold Corp. has agreed to make health and safety improvements at its refrigerated food warehouse in Honolulu. The company will also end its fight against $197,000 in penalties assessed in 2013 by OSHA.
A joint inspection by OSHA and Hawaii's Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Occupational Safety and Health Division found nearly every emergency exit door or route locked, sealed shut, blocked or impossible to use. OSHA found that the violations were a willful disregard of employee safety. Inspectors also identified hazards related to Unicold's use of ammonia as a refrigerant. In all, OSHA identified dozens of violations in February 2013.