July 27, 2016
Inspection finds Ohio stone fabricator again exposes workers
to harmful noise, respiratory dangers at stone-cutting yard
Cleveland Granite & Marble faces $63K in OSHA penalties
CLEVELAND, Ohio - A federal workplace safety and health inspection found an Ohio stone fabricator again exposed to workers the risks of hearing loss and respiratory damage, the same dangers found at the facility in 2012.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued two willful, three repeated and two serious violations to Cleveland Granite & Marble on July 27, after agency officials inspected the facility in February 2016 and discovered the hazards. The company faces $63,360 in penalties.
"OSHA has again found Cleveland Granite & Marble permitting an environment that exposes employees to potentially deafening noise and debilitating respiratory hazards, as well as dangerous machine hazards found more recently," said Howard Eberts, area director of OSHA's Cleveland office. "Occupational noise exposure can lead to permanent hearing loss and silica dust produced in stonework is a known respiratory hazard that can cause cancer, obstructive pulmonary disease and other health complications. The company needs to re-evaluate its safety and health programs and ensure workers are provided the training and equipment necessary to protect them from injury and illness on the job."
OSHA's follow-up inspection found the employer:
- Exposed workers to noise levels above the action level.
- Did not train workers about noise hazards or evaluate them annually for occupational exposure to noise. Inspectors found the company had not provided hearing tests or training since 2013.
- Allowed employees to change saw blades without using procedures to prevent unintentional operation of machinery exposing them to amputation hazards.
- Failed to install proper machine guards on a bridge saw used to cut granite.
- Allowed multiple violations of respiratory protection standards, such as not providing fit testing and establishing procedures for respirator use.
- Failed to train employees the use of fire extinguishers.
View the current citations here.
In March 2016, OSHA announced a final rule to improve protections for workers exposed to respirable silica dust. The rule will curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. About 2.3 million men and women face exposure to respirable crystalline silica in their workplaces, including two million construction workers who drill and cut silica-containing materials such as concrete and stone, and 300,000 workers in operations such as brick manufacturing, foundries and hydraulic fracturing. Most employers can limit harmful dust exposure by using equipment that is widely available — generally using water to keep dust from getting into the air or a ventilation system to capture dust where it is created.
Cleveland Granite & Marble imports, fabricates and installs natural stone countertops, vanities and fireplace surrounds. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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.
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 Cleveland Area Office at 216-447-4194.
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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Release Number: 16-1535-CHI
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