New Jersey Stone Manufacturer Cited for Silica Exposure

"Overexposure to respirable crystalline silica can cause a disabling, nonreversible and sometimes fatal lung disease," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's Marlton Area Office in New Jersey.

OSHA has cited KOL Marble and Granite for 15 workplace health and safety violations, including employee exposure to silica, at its Cherry Hill, N.J., facility. Proposed penalties total $48,600.

OSHA initiated an inspection on Oct. 8, 2010, in response to a complaint alleging that employees were exposed to silica dust while dry cutting stone. As a result of the inspection, the company received citations for 14 serious violations and one other-than-serious violation.

"Overexposure to respirable crystalline silica can cause a disabling, nonreversible and sometimes fatal lung disease," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's Marlton Area Office in New Jersey. "It is vital that the company abate all of the identified hazards to ensure that employees have a safe and healthy work environment."

The alleged serious violations include the company's failure to have engineering and/or administrative controls in place for employee overexposure to respirable dusts that contain 28 percent silica; establish or implement a written respiratory protection program; train employees on the hazards of silica; implement a written hazard communication program for employees exposed to silica; properly guard machines; properly train forklift operators; provide effective respiratory training; conduct a hazard assessment; ensure that employees use appropriate eye protection when exposed to flying particles; provide noise training to employees who were over the permissible exposure level; and conduct audiometric testing for employees who were over the permissible exposure level. A serious citation is issued 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.

The company also was cited for one other-than-serious violation for failing to maintain injury and illness logs for 2009. 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.

KOL Marble and Granite fabricates and installs several types of stones including granite, cambria, zodiaq, ceasarstone, and silestone.

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