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Nov. 26, 2014

 

Stone fabricator cited for exposing workers to crushing hazards
Berry Marble and Granite in Tyler, Texas, cited for 14 violations; proposed fine of $156,310

TYLER, Texas – Berry Marble and Granite exposed workers to crushing hazards associated with handling granite, marble and stone at its Tyler, Texas, facility, a follow-up inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found. OSHA issued 14 citations, including two for willfully violating safety standards and two for repeated violations, with a proposed fine of $156,310.

OSHA's Dallas Area Office began a follow-up inspection in May 2014 when the company failed to provide abatement for citations issued in January 2014. With a penalty of $21,560, Berry Marble was cited for repeatedly exposing workers to crushing hazards by using lift clamps not labeled with a load rating, and for not providing training to employees responsible for de-energizing machines and equipment during maintenance. 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.

"By failing to correct previously identified hazards, Berry Marble and Granite continues to put workers in harm's way, and that is unacceptable," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas. "Employers must find and fix hazards that expose workers to injuries or death. This employer has failed to do that."

The two willful violations were cited for failure to ensure slings were marked with their rated capacities and remove damaged slings from service. These violations carry a penalty of $92,400. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

The inspection also cited 10 serious violations, including exposing workers to crushing hazards by not inspecting or maintaining lift clamps; failure to provide medical evaluations for workers required to wear respirators and provide a qualified person to oversee the respirator program; and failure to inspect and conduct training periodically on procedures to de-energize machinery during maintenance. Fines for these serious citations total $42,350. 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.

To view a copy of the citations, visit http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/BerryMarbleCompanyInc_978402_1114_14.pdf*

Berry Marble and Granite employs about 45 workers at its natural stone fabricating facility. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and 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 Dallas District Office at 972-952-1330.

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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Media Contacts:

Diana Petterson, 972-850-4710, petterson.diana@dol.gov
Juan J. Rodríguez, 972-850-4709, rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

Release Number: 14-2161-DAL


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