Region 1 News Release: 12-425-BOS/BOS 2012-043
March 20, 2012
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Massachusetts stone fabricator for repeat
and serious violations at Ansonia, Conn., facility; proposes $47,600 in fines
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited International Stone Inc. for 11 alleged violations of workplace safety standards at its Ansonia marble and granite fabrication operation. Proposed penalties for the Woburn, Mass.-based company total $47,600.
OSHA's Bridgeport Area Office opened an inspection on Dec. 1 in response to a complaint. OSHA found employees cutting and polishing granite and marble with unguarded grinders and without eye, face and hand protection; unapproved electrical equipment and outlets used in wet locations; blocked access to circuit breakers; ungrounded, spliced and misused extension cords; worn out and illegible control buttons for a crane used to lift and move slabs of marble and granite; trip and fall hazards; obstructed exit access; and an unmarked exit door. These conditions resulted in citations for nine serious violations carrying $35,000 in proposed fines. 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.
Two repeat violations, with $12,600 in proposed fines, involve hazards similar to those cited during a 2008 OSHA inspection of International Stone's Marshfield, Mass., location. These recurring hazards involved the company's failure to conduct inspections of a lifting crane and lifting hooks in order to identify and correct potential defects, as well as its use of unapproved extension cords in wet locations. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
"Left uncorrected, these conditions expose employees to the hazards of electrocution, lacerations, amputations, crushing by heavy objects, and eye and facial injuries," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "It's imperative that this employer not only correct these hazards but also take effective steps to prevent their recurrence."
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Bridgeport office at 203-579-5581.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.