OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Hilltop Slate, Inc, of Route 22A, Middle Granville, New York, and proposed a penalty of $45,000 against the firm for failing to abate a violation of OSHA standards. The company has until December 29 to contest the citation.
According to OSHA area director John Tomich, the action results from a follow-up investigation conducted from August 30 to November 17 in response to Hilltop Slate's failure to verify that it had corrected hazards previously cited by OSHA in June, 1999.
OSHA alleges that the firm allowed employees to be overexposed to crystalline silica, and failed to conduct fit-testing of respirators.
"Inhaling airborne silica can lead to silicosis, a disabling, nonreversible-sometimes fatal-disease of the lungs," Tomich said. "That's why OSHA is conducting a national special emphasis program on the hazard. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health estimates that two million U.S. workers annually are exposed to crystalline silica. We want to protect the employees to the best of our ability."
A failure to abate is a notice of additional penalty issued against an employer who has failed to correct a violation that has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. OSHA can apply penalties on a daily basis for hazards an employer fails to correct.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Albany area office, located at 401 New Karner Road, Suite 300, Albany, New York, telephone (518) 464-6742.
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