Safety Training Resources Monitors OSHA’s LEP on Worksites with Elevated Exposure to Respirable Dust

US Labor Department’s OSHA cites Granite and Marble Company for exposing workers to excessive levels of respirable silica, other hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Delta Granite and Marble Inc. with 10 serious and one other-than-serious violation. Proposed penalties total $42,000.

OSHA‘s Region VI Office initiated a health inspection on Feb. 23 at the company’s facility where employees were fabricating marble and granite countertops and associated products. The inspection was part of the agency’s National Emphasis Program for Crystalline Silica, which was developed to reduce occupational exposure to respirable silica.

Serious violations include failing to ensure that airborne levels of crystalline silica met established health standards, to provide an effective hearing conservation program, to ensure employees wore protective footwear, to ensure that appropriate hand protection such as gloves were utilized and to ensure compressed air used for cleaning did not exceed 30 pounds per square inch. 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.

“Exposure to respirable silica above OSHA‘s established limits can lead to serious long-term health conditions such as silicosis and other pulmonary function disorders,” said Jeff Funke, OSHA‘s Region VI area director.

The other-than-serious violation was cited for failing to ensure that audiograms contained information on employee job classifications. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately 5 million workers are required to wear respirators to protect against harmful particulates, low oxygen areas, vapors, gases, and toxic or hazardous materials. This means that approximately 1.3 million workplaces in the U.S. need to worry about complying with OSHA‘s respiratory protection rule. Is yours one of them?

OSHA’s requirements are clear: Employers must develop an effective respiratory protection program along with training that includes teaching workers when and how to use their respirators.   Missouri employers are often cited for noncompliance with the standard. In addition, OSHA recently amended its PPE and training enforcement practices to allow per-employee citations for violations, which could mean an enormous increase in your potential liability.

Don’t take a chance with employee safety or OSHA penalties.  Contact Safety Training Resources for a free safety consultation.

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