Thursday, November 29, 2018

OSHA Levels Heavy Fine for Silica Standard Violation

During the first six months of implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)'s new silica standard, inspectors have issued 116 citation. The highest silica related fine is $304,130 that has been proposed to a Virginia based contractor, Lanford Brothers Co, for five violations.

1. Not Ensuring Proper Protective Eye wear Was Worn by Employees

When employees do not wear protective eye wear, they are exposed to flying debris. In this case, the employees were wearing sunglasses instead of approved protective eye wear. This violation was considered serious and the proposed fine was $8,065

2. Not Providing Employees With Proper Silica Exposure Training

Employers should inform employees of all potential hazards in a work environment. They should also be trained in how to avoid exposure and the dangers of silica exposure such as Silicosis- deadly lung disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease. This is also a serious fine proposed at $8.065.

3. Not Complying with Proper Silica Removal Methods

The company did not use wet methods while using jackhammers for concrete removal without proper respiratory protection. This violation was considered willful-serious with a proposed $96,000 fine.

4. Not Assessing the Employees Potential Exposure to Silica Dust

By not evaluating the potential exposure, the contractor received another $96,000 willful-serious proposed fine.

5. Not Providing Adequate Respiratory Protection and Medical Evaluation for Employees.

The workers on the site had not been FIT tested, had facial hair that did not comply with OSHA standards, and not completed any medical evaluations before exposure to silica. This was also a $96,000 willful-serious penalty.

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