OSHA Fines Granite Manufacturer After Worker Gets Crushed

A worker who was crushed and killed by granite slabs has lead OSHA to issue more than $55,000 in fines to a Massachusetts-based granite countertop manufacturer.

OSHA inspectors visited ASI/Massachusetts Stone Fabrication & Supply after the worker's death and cited the company for 15 alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards.

On Oct. 3, 2005, two workers were attempting to move a 6-foot-by-10-foot granite slab stored between several other granite slabs when the slabs fell on the workers, killing one and injuring the other. OSHA's inspection found that the company allegedly failed to provide a workplace free from recognized crushing hazards due to improper storage of the stone slabs and did not train the workers to properly handle and move the slabs.

"Proper training and storage are critical to protect workers because of the size and weight of these granite slabs," said Francis Pagliuca, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties in Massachusetts. "The lack of these and other safeguards at this workplace leave its workers exposed to death and serious injury from crushing, fire, electrical and other hazards."

Additional crushing hazards identified during the inspection stemmed from the company's alleged failure to inspect cranes, hoisting devices and wire rope slings for defects, a missing safety latch on a load hook, unmarked load ratings for granite slab storage racks and defective wire rope slings.

Other alleged hazardous conditions at the workplace included:

  • Obstructed and unmarked exits;
  • No fire extinguisher training; fall and tripping hazards from an unguarded floor hole;
  • Fire and electrocution hazards from a severely frayed extension cord used to power a compressor;
  • Crane defects; and
  • No complete and accurate assessment of workplace hazards to determine what personal protective equipment workers needed.
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