Arrow Concrete Co., Parkersburg, W.Va., is contesting colossal penalties that officials from Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Region 3 in
Arrow Concrete Co., Parkersburg, W.Va., is contesting colossal penalties that officials from Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Region 3 in Charleston proposed late last year for alleged willful and serious violations of noise- and respiratory-protection standards at seven of the company’s plants. OSHA Charleston Area Director Stanley Elliott notes that Arrow has willfully failed to offer audiometric testing for employees exposed to excessive noise; provide medical evaluation, fit testing and training to employees required to use respirators; and, ensure that employees using respirators are clean shaven. Injury and illness rates are declining and to keep this downward trend going, employers must make sure that they provide a safe and healthy workplace, he says.
The citations cover a variety of violations including failure to keep floor openings covered, unsuitable eyewash facilities for employees using corrosive and acidic products, and lack of lockout/tagout training to ensure that machinery is inoperable during maintenance and repair. The inspections stemmed from the Charleston OSHA area office’s local emphasis program, aimed at protecting concrete production workers from the hazards of silica exposure. Along with contesting penalties totaling $476,000, Arrow officials have expressed interest in working with Region 3 staff to improve mixer-drum cleaning and chipping, plus other plant procedures that led to the citations.