A manufacturing facility in Riviera Beach, Fl. is facing $132,037 worth of fines after an OSHA inspection found various health and safety hazards, including silica exposure levels above the PEL.
Furthermore, the inspector cited the company for exposing employees to amputation, struck-by, and fall hazards.
OSHA conducted the inspection in accordance with the agency’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations and Regional Emphasis Program for Powered Industrial Trucks. The former aims to identify and reduce workplace machinery & equipment hazards that may cause amputations, while the latter program focuses on reducing injuries and fatalities related to powered industrial trucks.
The company manufactures and distributes masonry and hardscape projects, thus silica plays a heavy role in production.
Work involving chipping, cutting, drilling, or grinding soil, sand, granite, or other minerals releases crystalline silica into the air. Employees involved in this work are especially at risk of inhaling silica dust, which can scar the lung tissue and lead to serious respiratory illnesses, such as silicosis.
The manufacturer also failed to implement engineering or work practice controls. These common construction controls, such as using local exhaust ventilation, are used to limit exp.
In addition, the company was also cited for failing to perform the following:
- Follow-up air monitoring
- Provide employees who wore air respirators with medical evaluations
- Include employees exposed above the silica PEL in a medical surveillance program
- Provide audiograms
“Employers must implement effective safety and health programs to identify the hazards that exist in their workplaces, and take corrective actions to prevent worker exposures to serious or life-threatening injuries and illnesses,” OSHA Area Director of Fort Lauderdale Condell Eastmond said.
Why Medical Surveillance Testing is Crucial
While employers can monitor workplace conditions, medical surveillance testing alerts employers to what they can’t see.
Medical surveillance helps to:
- Identify adverse health effects associated with respirable crystalline silica exposure so that appropriate actions can be taken;
- determine if any employee has a condition that makes him/her more susceptible to exposure, such as a lung disease;
- and, determine the employee’s fitness to wear a respirator.
With the information gained from medical surveillance testing, employees can take actions to improve overall health. This includes: Making job choices to reduce exposure; wearing a respirator for extra protection; and making better personal health decisions, such as quitting smoking or getting a flu shot.
Convenient, On-Site Testing
Medical surveillance testing has never been easier, because Worksite Medical brings it right to your job site.
With onsite medical testing, you call the shots, from scheduling around shifts to choosing dates that work best for your team. You’ll never need to send your team away for testing again – limit risk and maintain productivity!
When it comes to the silica standard, we’ve got you covered with silica physical exams, respirator fit testing with online medical clearances, and even blood work. Learn more about our other services and find your solution today at WorksiteMed.com. Or complete the form below to schedule and/or get your free quote!
Not sure which testing you need? Let us help! Click HERE to try our OSHA Medical Testing Wizard today, and we will determine your needs based on your specific workplace exposures!