Employer name: Mass-Granite Inc., 49 Knox Trail, Acton, Massachusetts 01720
Reason for inspection: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted a follow up inspection of the granite countertop manufacturer to verify the correction of hazards identified during a 2014 inspection. OSHA cited the company for six violations in September 2014 and levied $8,500 in fines. Mass-Granite Inc. did not submit proof that the hazardous conditions had been corrected.
Investigation findings: The follow up inspection identified several uncorrected hazardsThese included lack of a hearing conservation program for employees exposed to high noise levels; failure to implement testing to determine if employees had sustained hearing loss; lack of a chemical hazard communication program; and no markings on a forklift boom. The follow up inspection also found three hazards similar to those cited in 2014: failure to monitor employees’ exposure to high noise levels; an inadequate hearing conservation program; and improper electrical equipment in wet locations.
Finally, the follow up inspection identified numerous new hazards. Among them: unsafe storage of large granite pieces; lack of eye, hand and head protection; not inspecting fire extinguishers; untrained forklift operators; unsafe forklift operation; a saw blade not guarded against contact; several electrical hazards; a missing stair railing; inadequately labeled containers of hazardous chemicals; inadequate training on hazardous chemicals; a locked exit door; and flammable material stored in an exit route.
Citations issued: Four failure to abate notices, three repeated violations and 22 serious and other than serious violations.
Proposed penalties: $87,200
Quote: “Mass-Granite Inc. has repeatedly failed to provide a safe working environment for its employees. These new and recurring hazards expose Mass-Granite Inc. employees to potential hearing loss, crushing injuries, hazardous chemicals, eye, hand and face injuries, falls, fire, electric shock, lacerations, or amputation. Additionally, the company continues to put workers at risk of being unable to exit the workplace swiftly in the event of an emergency,” said Anthony Covello, OSHA’s area director for Middlesex and Essex counties.
Links to citations and failure to abate notices: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/osha/OSHA20152120a.pdf* and http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/osha/OSHA20152120b.pdf*.
Mass-Granite Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Andover Area Office at 978-837-4460.