On Aug. 12, OSHA cited a Decatur Georgia countertop manufacturer company for exposing employees to amputation, silica, and other safety and health hazards at its manufacturing plant.
Cited for Silica Exposure
Following the inspection, the administration cited the manufacturer with a serious violation for exposing employees to an unsafe amount of respirable crystalline silica.
Silica, a chemical compound found in organic materials that can cause lung scarring when inhaled, is often used in construction. Employees were exposed while dry polishing and buffing granite tops.
The employer also failed to implement engineering and work practice controls used to ventilate heavy exposure area.
Along with the silica violation, OSHA also issued a citation for failing to create a respiratory protection program. These written protection plans should include methods for controlling silica dust, such as using proper respirator filters and keeping a consistent change schedule.
The program should also include a selection of appropriate respirators, based on the hazards to which employees are exposed and user factors that affect performance.
Failure to Establish an Audiometric Testing Program
The countertop manufacturer not only failed to provide a respiratory program, it also failed to establish & maintain an audiometric testing program.
It’s common for workers in this industry to be around the sounds of sawing and polishing. Employees participated in tasks that reached up to 92.7 dBA, which is well above OSHA’s action level of 85 dBA – around the same sound level of a roadway with busy traffic.
For every five dBA over the action level, the amount of allowable exposure time is cut in half. To worsen the matter, workers were not wearing proper hearing protection equipment.
The result? Another serious violator citation.
In all, the company faces $132,604 in penalties. It now has only 15 business days from receipt of the citations & proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Creating Respiratory & Audiometric Protection Programs
It’s the employer’s responsibility to providing safe and healthy workplaces under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
Now, it’s easy than ever to establish regular testing for hearing, silica exposure, and other health hazards with Worksite Medical. We bring all of your OSHA-required medical surveillance testing to you with our mobile medical clinics (Take the Interactive Tour Here).
Whether your team needs respirator fit testing, silica physicals, audiometric exams, drug testing or blood work, we’ve got you covered, and your team never needs to leave your job site.
To schedule, or to get your free quote and analysis, complete the form below, or Contact Us Here.
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