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Region 4 News Release: 10-71-ATL (066)
Jan. 27, 2010
Contact: Michael D'Aquino     Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076     404-562-2078

US Labor Department's OSHA proposing more than $135,000 in penalties against Atlanta stone countertop manufacturer for health hazards
Atlanta Intown Granite cited for failing to correct previous violations

ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Atlanta Intown Granite Co. in Atlanta for continuing to expose its employees to health hazards more than a year after OSHA had cited the company for similar violations.

OSHA is proposing $133,875 in penalties against the company for exposing workers to excess amounts of silica by not fully implementing a respiratory protection program, failing to fully implement a hearing conservation program and failing to establish a written hazard communication program on exposure to hazardous substances.

Exposure to silica can lead to silicosis, a disabling, nonreversible and sometimes fatal lung disease. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that each year more than 250 people die from and hundreds more are disabled by silicosis.

"Silica and noise exposure remain serious hazards to employees at work, but both hazards are 100 percent preventable if employers fully implement protection programs," said Andre Richards, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office.

OSHA inspected this company in September 2008 and cited it with five serious violations for similar hazards. The current inspection followed up on the earlier one to determine if the hazards had been corrected.

The agency also is citing the stone countertop manufacturer with one serious safety violation and a proposed penalty of $2,000 for not equipping portable tools with machine guards.

Atlanta Intown Granite has 15 business days from receipt of the four citations and the $135,875 in proposed penalties to contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office, 2400 Herodian Way, Suite 250, Smyrna, Ga.; telephone 770-984-8700.

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 assure 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 releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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 www.dol.gov/compliance.


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