US Labor Department's OSHA cites East Orange, NJ, concrete company for
willful, serious hazards; proposes $153,900 fine
EAST ORANGE, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited County Concrete Corp. for 18 alleged safety and health violations - including one classified as willful - found at the company's East Orange facility. OSHA's April investigation was initiated in response to a complaint alleging hazards related to silica, respirators, dust and noise. Proposed penalties total $153,900.
The willful violation, with a $63,000 penalty, was due to the lack of an established lockout/tagout program, which prevents inadvertent machine start-ups, and the lack of equipment-specific procedures developed. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Sixteen serious violations, carrying a $90,900 penalty, include the company's failure to evaluate the workplace for permit-required confined spaces; inform employees of the existence, location and dangers of permit-required confined spaces; develop and implement a permit-required confined space program or written hazard communication program; and conduct periodic inspections of and provide employee training on energy control procedures. Additionally, the company did not develop and implement a monitoring program, establish and maintain an audiometric testing program, and provide training, for employees whose exposure exceeded the 8-hour time weighted average of 85 decibels; establish a written respiratory protection program; identify and evaluate the respiratory hazards in the workplace; provide a medical evaluation to determine the employee's ability to use a respirator; ensure that employees using tight fitting face piece respirators were fit tested prior to use and received effective training; properly store respirators; determine and implement administrative or engineering controls whenever feasible; provide effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area; and ensure employee's exposure to silica, in any 8-hour work shift of a 40-hour work week, did not exceed the 8-hour time weighted average limit. 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.
"This company willfully violated OSHA safety standards, compromising worker safety and well-being," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "Employers will be held legally responsible when they fail to uphold their responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace."
One other-than-serious violation was also found because the employer did not provide Appendix D of the respiratory protection standard to workers wearing respirator protection. This citation carries no penalty. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/CountyConcrete_900137_0930_13.pdf* and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/CountyConcrete_899238_0930_13.pdf*
County Concrete Corp. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Parsippany, or contest the citations and proposed penalties 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 Parsippany Area Office at 973-263-1003.
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.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.