Nov. 13, 2014
Florida-based company exposed workers to repeat hazards
at Waxahachie, Texas, facility
Southern Grouts and Mortars Inc. cited for 8 violations with fines totaling $58,520
WAXAHACHIE, Texas – Southern Grouts and Mortars Inc. has been cited for eight safety and health violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration after a May 2014 follow-up inspection found repeat violations at its Waxahachie facility. Proposed penalties total $58,520.
OSHA's Fort Worth Area Office initially conducted a complaint inspection in February 2013 and cited the employer in June 2013 with four serious violations for failure to provide a respiratory program that included medical evaluations and respirator fit testing and failure to provide hazardous communication information to employees regarding exposure to dust particles.
¿Southern Grouts and Mortars continues to expose its workers to hazards that could unnecessarily injure them or cause illness or death. Employers are responsible for ensuring workers' health and safety while on the job and the company's disregard for this will not be tolerated,¿ said Jack Rector, OSHA's area director in Fort Worth.
With a penalty of $29,260, four serious violations were cited for failure to provide fall protection near open-sided floors and ensure a fall protection railing was installed; to provide a hearing conservation program; and to regulate compressed air used for cleaning purposes. 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.
Four repeat violations, with fines of $29,260, were cited for failure to provide a respiratory protection program that included medical evaluations and fitness testing; continuing to allow employees to work under a load elevated by a forklift; failure to implement engineering controls for workers with prolonged exposure to dust particles and to provide hazard communication information on exposure to dust particles. 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.
Southern Grouts and Mortars, headquartered in Pompano Beach, Florida, manufactures swimming pool, spa and deck finishes while employing about 100 workers companywide, 16 of whom are employed at the Waxahachie facility. Additional manufacturing facilities are in Corona, California, and Plant City, Florida. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Fort Worth Area Office, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety & 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 Fort Worth Area Office at 817-581-7303.
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.
Release Number: 14-1762-DAL
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