The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a Boston maker of granite and marble countertops for 10 instances of failing to correct hazards cited in a 2004 OSHA inspection. Proposed penalties total $58,500.
Rozetti Marble and Granite LLC was first cited by OSHA in Sept. 2004 for 15 serious violations of workplace safety and health standards. At the time, the company agreed to correct all cited hazards and pay $9,870 in fines. A follow-up inspection in April found several hazards remained uncorrected.
Hazards the company reportedly failed to abate included employees exposed to excess levels of silica and lack of engineering controls to reduce exposure levels; no written respiratory protection program; failure to institute a hearing conservation program and provide hearing protection for employees exposed to excess noise levels; misuse of unguarded grinders; untrained employees operating forklifts; employees operating forklifts without using seatbelts; and no written hazard communication program.
OSHA issued 10 “failure to abate” citations and proposed $58,500 in new fines. OSHA issues a failure to abate citation when an employer has agreed to correct a previously cited hazard, then fails to do so.
“An employer’s failure to follow through on its commitment to correct workplace hazards is costly, not just in additional fines but to the health and safety of workers as well,” said Brenda Gordon, OSHA’s area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts. “Left uncorrected, these conditions expose workers to respiratory illness, hearing loss, lacerations, crushing injuries and chemical exposures.”
Gordon noted that silica, noise, respiratory protection and hazard communication are critical health and safety concerns for stonecutters and the stone products industry. She urged area employers to take advantage of free information available through OSHA or the free, state-funded consultation service offered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Rozetti Marble and Granite has 15 working days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply with them, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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