OSHA cites stone manufacturer for safety violations

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Eldorado Stone LLC of Pueblo, Colo., for 25 alleged serious, willful and repeat violations following an inspection of the architectural stone manufacturer. Proposed penalties total $137,500.

The OSHA inspection began June 15 in response to a complaint from the Pueblo Human Relations Commission. It resulted in 22 serious citations with proposed penalties of $63,000; one willful citation with a penalty of $49,500; and two repeat citations totaling $25,000 in proposed penalties. Eldorado Stone has a local workforce of approximately 200 employees.

"Employers must take necessary precautions to protect employees from workplace hazards," said John Healy, OSHA area office director in Englewood, Colo. "This significant penalty demonstrates OSHA's commitment to assure compliance with job safety and health standards."

Alleged serious violations addressed hazards associated with: lack of emergency stops on conveyors; inadequate housekeeping; improper ladders; inadequate training on lock-out/tag-out procedures to render machinery inoperable during maintenance and repair; lack of an eyewash station where corrosive chemicals were used; unsafe stacking of materials; inadequate forklift training; use of unsafe forklifts; inadequate machine guarding; projecting shaft ends; unguarded belts and pulleys; storage of oxygen cylinders adjacent to acetylene cylinders; unsafe electrical equipment, and employee overexposure to respirable dust and silica. Serious violations occur when there is probability of death or serious physical harm and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

Failure to implement a hearing conservation program was cited as a willful violation and inadequate guardrails and an unguarded chain and sprocket resulted in repeat citations. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. Repeat violations are those for which an employer has been previously cited for the same or a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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