Brookshire Grocery Co. said it has contested an Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection report that cited the company with eight serious violations at its Tyler distribution center.
The company released a statement Saturday saying it contested the initial Dec. 5 citations and provided evidence that resulted in the "removal, revision and reduction of those citations."
The original penalty of $63,736 was reduced to $33,867 on Jan. 5 after the company was able to produce evidence con-
testing the citations, a company spokeswoman said.
"We reported the incident to the appropriate authorities and cooperated with OHSA throughout its investigation," the company's statement read. "Our company has revised our emergency action plan and implemented voluntary improvements including upgrading our alarm system and installing state-of-the-art software to monitor, manage and, if needed, deactivate the system immediately in the event of a leak."
Brookshire's said the valve failure that caused the ammonia leak early Sept. 1 happened despite the extensive preventive processes and procedures that were in place to ensure the safety of an ammonia refrigeration system. It said the ammonia leak was the first incident of its kind in the company's almost 90 years of operation.
"Our emergency action plan was implemented immediately by our designated employees to minimize the impact and to ensure everyone's safety," the statement read. "The company provided immediate medical attention for individuals with expressed concerns about potential exposure."
A total of 11 people were treated and released from area hospitals after the incident at the company's distribution center at the corner of Loop 323 and Old Jacksonville Highway. In addition, some people were treated with oxygen at the scene.