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Ohio stone company faces fines for exposing workers to health hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has revealed violations found at a Cleveland granite and marble company. There were 21 violations in total. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires that all employers provide safe and healthy workplaces for their employees, and employers must adhere to certain requirements. If they are found by OSHA to be in violation, whether from routine investigations or as a result of employee information, an employer may face fines and additional citations.

In this case, there were three 'willful' violations found in regards to hearing protection, a crucial aspect of employee health and safety working in a masonry environment. Employers are required to take proactive measures for their employers, and the 'willful' violations reflect a knowing neglect of the health and safety of the employees. There were 15 additional violations which were categorized as 'serious,' including failure to provide personal protective equipment, maintenance of clear exit routes, and failure to properly guard pulleys and saws. Each of these could easily result in serious bodily harm to employees, with long-lasting consequences.

Injuries sustained as a result of oversights in the workplace can result in serious and debilitating consequences. These can result in medical expenses that may become unmanageable with the loss of income. Workers' compensation can help with this financial burden, and if there is negligence on the part of the employer, there may be additional financial compensation.

Proper inspections of company equipment are the responsibility of an employer. Employees are able to come forward about potential safety and health violations in their workplace by contacting OSHA.

Source: The U.S. Department or Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "US Labor Department's OSHA cites Cleveland Granite & Marble for exposing workers to safety and health hazards; proposes $98,000 in fines," Jan. 7, 2012

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