NJ Granite workers face hearing loss, silica (4/12)
April 12, 2011
Two inspections more than a year apart found many of the same safety and health violations still in place at a New Jersey granite and marble countertop manufacturer.
The second inspection resulted in two dozen additional citations against Bedrock Granite Inc. for violations at its Edison, N.J. facility. Proposed penalties total $112,530.
OSHA initiated an inspection on Oct. 21, 2011, 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.
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.
Bedrock Granite Inc. has 14 employees.