The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) said it formed an alliance with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to promote safety across the food industry's cold supply chain.

The voluntary, two-year agreement will provide GCCA members and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help them protect the health and safety of workers, particularly by preventing exposure to hazards related to ammonia refrigeration systems. Officials said the agreement also will improve Process Safety Management (PSM) programs and help companies provide a safe working environment under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act).

GCCA, Alexandria, Va., represents the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, the World Food Logistics Organization, the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration, the International Refrigerated Transportation Association, and the International Association for Cold Storage Construction.
“OSHA works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. “These alliances provide OSHA an opportunity to work together with a variety of groups to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, share information with workers and employers, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.”

Added GCCA President and CEO J. William Hudson, “There is a powerful business value for safety and health, and this alliance reinforces that. We will also encourage GCCA members to build relationships with OSHA Regional and Area Offices.”

GCCA and OSHA said they also will convene forums, roundtable discussions, and other stakeholder meetings on ammonia refrigeration system-related issues. In addition, the organizations plan to develop written communication tools, exhibit and speak at industry events, and develop case studies to illustrate positive examples of safety programs.

Officials said the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR)  will play an important role in developing these programs.

“Our industry has a strong safety record, and working with OSHA through this alliance will ensure that all companies are fully aware of regulations and the resources available to help them stay on top of safety issues," said IIAR President Bruce Badger.

The agreement will last for two years, with the potential for renewals.