US Labor Department's OSHA cites Delta Granite and Marble in San Antonio
for exposing workers to excessive levels of respirable silica, other hazards
SAN ANTONIO – 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 San Antonio Area Office initiated a health inspection on Feb. 23 at the company's facility on Sable Lane 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 area director in San Antonio.
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.
Delta Granite and Marble employs approximately 38 workers and manufactures custom countertops for residential and commercial applications. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in San Antonio or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
For information on the silica national emphasis program, visit http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=3790.
Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's San Antonio office at 210-472-5040. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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 ensure 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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