On Aug. 9, OSHA cited and fined a bullet-proof vest fabricator $66,300 for violating both the respirable silica and noise exposure standards.
The US Department of Labor conducted an inspection in late May 2019, at a facility in Miami Lakes, Fl. The inspection revealed five serious silica violations, and one other-than serious violation of the occupational noise exposure standard. The proposed penalties for these violations totaled $66,300.
The facility, known for its ballistic protection products, as of Sept. 13, currently has a payment plan in place for $39,780, and the case is pending abatement status.
Five Serious Silica Violations
OSHA found the facility violated 29 CFR 1910.105(c)(3)
This section of the silica standard requires no employee be exposed to a concentration of respirable crystalline silica in excess of 50 ug/m3, calculated as an 8-hour time weighted average (AWG).
OSHA determined one employee was exposed to an 8-hour TWA respirable crystalline silica level of 146.78 ug/m3 and a second employee to 102.21 ug/m3. Both employees were operating band saws during the process of fabricating bullet proof vests.
OSHA found the facility violated 29 CFR 1910.1053(d)(1)
This section of the silica standard requires employees be assessed for potential exposure to respirable crystalline silica. No employee exposure assessments were conducted by the facility during an 8-hour shift, in which employees were operating band saws.
OSHA found the facility violated 29 CFR 1910.1053(e)(2)(ii)
The facility failed to post the required signage at entrances to the silica regulated area.
OSHA found the facility violated 29 CFR 1910.1053(j)(2)
The facility failed to display the following signage legend:
RESPIRABLE CRYSTALLINE SILICA
MAY CAUSE CANCER
CAUSES DAMAGE TO LUNGS
WEAR RESPIRATORY PROTECTION IN THIS AREA
AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY
OSHA found the facility violated 29 CFR 1910.1053(i)(1)(i)
The facility failed to provide no-cost medical surveillance testing for employees exposed to respirable crystalline silica at or above the action level for 30 or more days per year.
OSHA found the facility violated 29 CFR 1910.1053(g)(2)
The facility failed to institute a respiratory protection program in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.134.
One Other-Than-Serious Violation of the Noise Standard
OSHA found the facility violated 29 CFR 1910.95(d)(3)(i)
The facility failed to monitor for increased noise exposures when a new trimming and sanding department was formed.
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