Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Washington, D.C.
Cranesville Aggregate Co.'s Scotia Bag Plant, which packages cement, dry mix concrete, asphalt repair and related Pak-Mix brand products, could incur up to $509,000 in proposed penalties after OSHA cited the Scotia, N.Y., operation for 33 alleged "willful, repeat and serious violations" of workplace safety and health standards following comprehensive inspections over the past six months. "The significant fines proposed here reflect the breadth and gravity of hazards found at this plant, their recurring nature and this employer's knowledge," said acting Assistant Secretary for OSHA Jordan Barab.
OSHA observed plant employees exposed to excess levels of cement dust without adequate ventilation, respiratory protection, personal protective equipment and training. In addition, the plant did not evaluate and identify respiratory hazards, train forklift operators or prevent an employee from working under a suspended load. As a result, OSHA has issued the plant six willful citations, with a combined $375,000 in proposed fines. "Workers have been exposed to potentially disabling or fatal respiratory illness, falls, crushing injuries, burns, lacerations, amputation and electrocution," said OSHA Albany (N.Y.) Area Director Edward Jerome.
Seven repeat citations, with $75,000 in proposed fines, have been issued for conditions similar to those cited in earlier OSHA inspections of Cranesville facilities in Kingston, Glens Falls and Fishkill, N.Y. These included an unsanitary workplace, unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals, and fall and electrical hazards. Twenty serious citations, with $59,000 in proposed fines, have been issued for ineffective respirator training, lack of personal protective and emergency eyewash equipment, obstructed exits, unguarded machinery, and additional forklift and electrical hazards. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.