OSHA Floors Tile Company with $318,000 Fine

American Marazzi Tile Inc. has been issued 25 safety and health violations for exposing workers to excessive noise levels, machine guarding hazards, and other conditions.

OSHA has cited American Marazzi Tile Inc. with 25 safety and health violations for exposing workers to excessive noise levels, machine guarding hazards, and other dangerous conditions at its facility in Sunnyvale, Texas. Proposed penalties total $318,000.

OSHA's Dallas Area Office initiated an investigation on July 13 at the company's Clay Road facility as part of the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to workplaces with higher-than-average injury and illness rates.

"This company knowingly failed to implement necessary safety and health programs to protect employees from coming into contact with moving parts of machinery and prevent hearing loss," said John Hermanson, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "It's the employer's responsibility to know the hazards and safeguard workers from these hazards in order to provide a working environment free of injuries and illnesses."

Three willful violations involve failing to establish and maintain a hearing conservation program for workers exposed to noise levels exceeding 85 decibels; provide the required machine guards for exposed belts, pulleys, chains, and sprockets; and establish a lockout/tagout program for energy sources to protect workers from the unexpected start up of machinery.

Twenty-one serious violations involve failing to provide personal protective equipment, provide confined space training, provide machine guarding to prevent workers from coming into contact with rotating parts, develop energy control procedures for machines with more than one energy source, provide fire extinguisher training, properly store oxygen and acetylene cylinders, develop a bloodborne pathogens program, and train employees on hazardous chemicals used in the facility.

One other-than-serious violation is for failing to post a copy of the hearing conservation standard in the workplace.

OSHA has placed American Marazzi Tile in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.

American Marazzi Tile employs about 254 workers who produce ceramic wall and floor tile products at the Sunnyvale location.

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