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OSHA Proposes $89K Penalty for Concrete Manufacturer

January 18, 2017

On January 4, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued citations to County Concrete Corp., East Orange, NJ, for one repeat and two failure-to-abate violations.

OSHA conducted an inspection on July 19, 2016, as a follow-up to the settlement of citations the company received in 2013. The agency issued citations to County Concrete in 2013 for 18 safety and health violations, and assessed $153,900 in penalties.

The agency cited the repeated violation because the company again failed to conduct annual tests to ensure that respirators fit employees properly while they were cleaning concrete mixers. Silica exposure can cause serious illnesses and damage to the respiratory system.

The failure-to-abate violations involved the company's failure to:

•    Develop and implement a written respiratory protection program for employees required to wear respirators during concrete mixer cleaning operations
•    Provide medical evaluations for employees required to wear respirators to determine their ability to use them without their health being compromised

These violations also were previously cited on Sept. 30, 2013.

"Our follow-up inspection found that two County Concrete employees were exposed to silica above the permissible limit as they cleaned concrete mixers. In 2013, OSHA cited this company for these same hazards," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "Employers must bear the responsibility of fully complying with respiratory protection requirements to protect the safety and health of their workers."

The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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