US Labor Department's OSHA cites Long Island, NY, concrete block manufacturer
for 13 serious safety violations after worker loses arm
Marly Building Materials faces $50,000 in fines for hazards
WESTBURY, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Marly Building Materials of Lindenhurst for 13 serious violations of workplace safety standards after an employee lost his arm in an accident. The manufacturer of concrete blocks faces $50,000 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.
On Feb. 19, the employee was shoveling sand onto a conveyor belt as part of the production process when his left arm became caught in the conveyor belt. The arm was amputated above the elbow. The inspection by OSHA's Long Island Area Office found that this, and other conveyors in the production area, were not guarded to prevent employees from being caught in conveyor moving parts during operation.
"This is precisely the type of injury that machine guarding is designed to prevent. It is a graphic example of the pain and suffering caused when an employer fails to ensure that machines and equipment have the required safeguards installed," said Anthony Ciuffo, OSHA's Long Island area director. "It is imperative that this employer take prompt and effective action to eliminate these conditions to prevent an accident like this from happening again."
OSHA's inspection found that the plant also lacked a hazardous energy control program, procedures, lockout hardware and training for workers who inspect, maintain and repair the conveyors and other machines. Hazardous energy control involves locking out a machine's power source, so it cannot be unintentionally activated during inspection, repair and maintenance. Other identified hazards included missing stair railings; exposed live electrical parts; safeguards designed to protect employees during an emergency, which were not in proper working order; floors and railings coated with cement dust; inadequate chemical hazard communication training; and not evaluating the workplace to determine if there were permit-required confined spaces which employees must enter.
Machine guarding hazards and safeguards information is at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/machineguarding/index.html and https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/machineguarding/index.html.
Marly Building Materials 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 Long Island office at 516-334-3344.
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.