From the Friday memo of September 30:
Central Freezer Update: Facilities has completed 12 high priority work orders since fall of 2010 in the central freezer that serves the central kitchen. The work has significantly reduced the icing problems in the freezer. We have also implemented regular preventative maintenance work orders to monitor and adjust problem areas before they become safety issues or emergencies. Working with Local 609 and Risk management, work orders for system upgrades and replacements have been created and entered in our work order system. This work will eliminate the intermittent issues that remain with the freezer system and should be completed in the next 12 months. Any remaining ice is managed by having maintenance staff remove any accumulation and place collection buckets nightly. This routine has been in place since January 2011 and has been effective in ensuring a safe walking surface and work environment for kitchen staff. When work assignments changed to support summer work at the end of June, the routine was disrupted: ice was not removed and buckets were not positioned over the July 4th holiday weekend. As a result, a hazardous accumulation of ice developed by Tuesday, July 5th. The Washington State Department of Occupational Safety and Health was contacted. The Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) have notified the District that a citation will be forthcoming for this repeat violation.
To date approximately two hundred employees whose jobs might call for them to enter the freezer have been trained on the hazards of the refrigerant used in the central Freezer. In April, DOSH reviewed the list of employees trained and were satisfied that the list was complete. In June, approximately 6 employees who work at school building kitchens were brought to the central kitchen for the Summer Sack lunch program. These employees were not properly trained and a second citation will be issued to the District. Risk Management is working with nutrition services and facilities to ensure a system is in place to train all employees working in the building. Training was completed with nutrition services at their staff meeting in August. We will send a detailed update related to the new citations when they are received.
Additionally, the Facilities Operations Department has been reorganized and will be forming a new JSCEE Safety Committee. This committee will include representatives from all labor partners and administration to provide a more robust structure to process safety concerns. Discussions have begun with 609 on this process.