A Mount Vernon, Oh. concrete production plant faces proposed penalties of $158,555 for 20 health and safety violations.
OSHA inspectors determined that the facility’s noise levels exceeded the permissible exposure limit. Furthermore, it also failed to test, train, monitor, and provide medical surveillance testing to employees exposed to the noise.
The proposed penalties also include citations for exposing employees to silica violations, along with other various respiratory, machine, and electrical hazards.
“These hazards can cause workers to suffer immediate and long-term adverse health effects,” said OSHA Columbus Area Director Larry Johnson. “Employers must recognize the safety and health risks inherent to their work operations, and take necessary precautions to protect employees who perform those operations.”
The company contested the findings, and is set to appear before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Serious Noise & Silica Violations
Fifteen of the 20 violations the plant faces are listed as “serious,” which means they carry maximum penalties of $13,260 each.
Those serious violations include:
- Failing to provide noise monitoring or engineering and administrative controls in a sandblasting area;
- Failing to establish an audiometric testing program for employees exposed to excessive workplace noise;
- Not developing or implementing a hearing conservation training program for employees exposed to excessive workplace noise;
- Not providing employees with training and information on the proper care and use of respirators;
- Failing to evaluate the workplace for permit-required confined spaces;
- Several control of hazardous energy—lockout/tagout—violations, including a written hazardous energy control program that lacked a statement of intended use of the procedure and specific steps for controlling all sources of hazardous energy, and failure to conduct periodic inspection of procedures and conduct employee training;
- Electrical safety violations;
- Failing to provide electrical safety personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Failing to assess employee exposure to respirable crystalline silica violations, or provide employee training about crystalline silica hazards; and
- Violation of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) by failing to provide employees with information and training on hazardous substances in the workplace, including brake cleaner, silica, and solvents.
Contesting an OSHA Citation
The company contested OSHA’s findings, so what does that mean?
When employers face OSHA citation, they have two choices. The first is to agree to the citation, correct the issue by the date set in the citation, and pay the proposed penalty. The second option is to disagree with the citation.
Employers have 15 working days from the date the citation is received to contest it in writing the citation, proposed penalty, and/or the abatement date.
Before contesting a citation, employers may request an informal conference with the OSHA area director with the 15 working day period to discuss any issues with the citation.
Since the company decided to contest the findings, representatives will appear before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The commission was created to provide administrative trial and appellate review to decide contests of citations or penalties resulting from an OSHA inspection.
Stay Ahead of OSHA, Keep Your Team Safe & Healthy
Medical surveillance testing helps to prevent things such as employee hearing loss and respiratory damage.
Worksite Medical brings all of that medical surveillance testing right to your facility, at your convenience. From blood work and drug testing to OSHA physicals, flu shots and wellness events, we’ve got you covered.
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