EDISON–The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Bedrock Granite Inc. for 24 workplace safety and health violations at its Edison facility. Proposed penalties total $112,530.
OSHA initiated an inspection on Oct. 21, 2010, in response to a complaint alleging that the employer had not abated safety and health violations cited on July 14, 2010. Inspectors issued citations encompassing five failure-to-abate notices, with penalties of $56,430; one repeat violation, with a penalty of $6,600; 15 serious violations, with penalties of $49,500; and three other-than-serious violations that do not carry penalties.
“By not abating past violations, Bedrock Granite leaves its employees vulnerable to hazards that can cause injuries and possible death,” said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA’s Avenel Area Office. “It is vital that all hazards be corrected immediately to protect workers at the facility.”
The failure-to-abate notices are for the company’s failure to implement an effective hearing conservation program, protect workers from overexposure to silica, implement feasible administrative or engineering controls, maintain a written hazard communication program and provide access to material safety data sheets. A failure-to-abate condition exists when the employer has not corrected a violation for which a citation has been issued and the abatement date has passed.
The repeat violation addresses the company’s failure to maintain records or reports of crane inspections, for which the company had been cited in 2010. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
The serious violations include noise hazards; lack of respiratory protection; unsanitary conditions; slip, trip and fall hazards; inadequate forklift operations and certification; and deficient electrical equipment. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The other-than-serious violations are due to unlit exit signs, failure to conduct annual fire extinguisher inspections and use of compressed air above the permissible limit for cleaning purposes. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Bedrock Granite Inc., a granite and marble countertop manufacturer, has 14 employees.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.
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