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Region 5 News Release 04-1049-CHI
Date: June 17, 2004
Contact: Brad Mitchell
Phone: (312) 353-6976


Wisconsin Stone Cutting Company Fined $135,600 For Exposing Workers to Silica

MADISON, Wis. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations and proposed penalties to Quarra Stone Company, LLC, of Madison, Wis., for failing to protect workers from hazards associated with silica.

"Strong enforcement has been one of the keys to this Administration's success in reducing workplace injuries and illnesses to record low levels," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The significant penalty of $135,600 in this case demonstrates our commitment to protecting the health and safety of American workers."

The penalty and OSHA citations are based on an inspection initiated in December 2003 under the agency's National Emphasis Program directed to reducing worker exposure to silica and the resulting lung diseases, silicosis.

As a result of that inspection, OSHA issued citations for 10 alleged serious violations and three alleged willful violations of federal workplace safety and health regulations including those designed to protect workers from exposure to silica dust and to protect their hearing. OSHA is alleging the firm failed to provide audiograms, medical evaluations and respirator fit testing for employees exposed to silica dust, and failed to protect workers from over-exposure to that dust.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

In fiscal year 2003, OSHA conducted almost 40,000 inspections, an increase of more than 2,000 inspections over FY 2002 levels; more than half focused on high-hazard industries. For more information, visit www.osha.gov. The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses and protecting the health and safety of America's workers.


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U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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