OSHA cited Eureka Stone Quarry Inc., Rushland, Pa., for safety and health violations, proposing a total of $144,200 in penalties.
Eureka Stone is a unionized asphalt plant employing 55 workers at its Rushland site.
OSHA initiated its investigation of the plant on April 24, in response to a fatality.
An employee, working in a bin, was attempting to break up a clump of fine, wet stone when the material it held gave way and engulfed him.
According to George Tomchick, the company was cited for two willful violations with a penalty of $112,000; and eight serious violations with a $32,200 penalty.
The company was cited with failure to:
- shut down a conveyer system and immediately contact rescue services after receiving notification that an employee was trapped in a bin;
- prevent unauthorized entry into a permit-required confined space, and
- train employees about the hazards associated with permit-required confined spaces.
The serious violations include:
- a 14-foot, eight-inch fall hazard due to lack of railing or covers on bins;
- a broken midrail on a platform railing;
- no standard railing on stairs;
- no signs or other effective means to identify confined space, and
- no measures taken to prevent entry into a confined space.
by Virginia Sutcliffe