"We initiated a safety inspection July 1 focused on employee exposure to fall hazards," said Charles Adkins, CIH, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City. "A health inspection began July 20 to address potential employee overexposure to silica. The citations issued are a result of these inspections."
Four willful safety citations allege the company:
- Failed to provide an enclosed chute to contain materials and concrete debris dumped over the edge of the building;
- Did not use guardrails, safety nets or other arrest systems to protect workers from falls;
- Failed to ensure that all floor holes were guarded appropriately; and
- Failed to install barriers to prevent heavy equipment from driving into floor holes when dumping debris.
Serious safety citations addressed the employer's alleged failure to:
- Ensure all employees wore appropriate personal protective equipment when exposed to hazardous conditions;
- Provide fall protection systems to protect employees when working 6 feet above lower levels;
- Protect employees from falling objects; and
- Establish or maintain frequent inspections of the job site, materials and equipment.
"During the health inspection, we documented employee overexposure to crystalline quartz silica," Adkins said. "We issued the company one willful health citation for failure to provide suitable respiratory protection and failure to assess employee exposure to silica."
Three health citations classified as serious alleged silica overexposure and failure to implement administrative or engineering controls; failure to provide hazardous communication training for such exposure; employee noise overexposure; and failure to require the use of hearing protectors to reduce noise exposures.