The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Venetian Marble & Granite in Helotes, Texas, with 10 serious safety and health violations after an inspection found that workers were exposed to unsafe levels of crystalline silica particles. Proposed penalties total $41,300.
OSHA’s San Antonio office initiated a safety and health inspection on Nov. 8, 2010, at the company’s facility on Western Oak Drive and determined that employees were exposed to respirable crystalline silica particles while grinding, sanding and buffing countertop products such as natural granite, quartz and solid surfaces.
The agency alleges that the company failed to ensure levels of crystalline silica met safety standards, provide employees with required respiratory protection, determine that employees were medically fit to wear respiratory protection, follow proper procedures to lock out/tag out accidental energy start-up prior to servicing and performing maintenance on machinery, properly guard a table saw and cut off saw, and train employees on the use of hazardous chemicals.
Venetian Marble & Granite employs about 45 workers who manufacture custom countertops for residential and commercial applications. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in San Antonio or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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