Federal officials have cited a Sunnyvale, Texas-based tile manufacturer for safety violations and proposed $318,000 in penalties.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited American Marazzi Tile Inc. with 25 safety and health violations for exposing workers to excessive noise levels, machine guarding hazards and other dangerous conditions at its facility in Sunnyvale.
Three willful violations involve failing to establish and maintain a hearing conservation program for workers exposed to noise levels exceeding 85 decibels; provide the required machine guards for exposed belts, pulleys, chains and sprockets; and establish a lockout/tagout program for energy sources to protect workers from the unexpected start up of machinery.
A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
Twenty-one serious violations involve failing to provide personal protective equipment, provide confined space training, provide machine guarding to prevent workers from coming into contact with rotating parts, develop energy control procedures for machines with more than one energy source, provide fire extinguisher training, properly store oxygen and acetylene cylinders, develop a bloodborne pathogens program and train employees on hazardous chemicals used in the facility.
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.
One other-than-serious violation is for failing to post a copy of the hearing conservation standard in the workplace.
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.
OSHA has placed American Marazzi Tile in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Initiated in June 2010, the program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.
American Marazzi Tile employs about 254 workers who produce ceramic wall and floor tile products at the Sunnyvale location.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Dallas area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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