N.H. Stone Products Manufacturer Cited for Hazards Following Employee Fatality

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Quartz and Stone Creations of New Hampshire LLC for crushing and other hazards following an employee fatality on July 19, 2019.

OSHA cited the Northwood, N.H., stone products manufacturer for 12 serious and six other-than-serious violations, which faces a total of $87,516 in penalties.

The inspection took place after a stone slab fell off a storage rack and crushed the employee. OSHA inspectors cited the company for using improperly modified forklifts, which adversely affected their lifting capacity and safe operation. The agency also cited the company for failing to remove defective forklifts from service, inadequate inspections of the forklifts, failing to train employees, and allowing employees to work and pass beneath elevated forklift booms.

OSHA issued additional citations for an inadequate lockout/tagout program, lack of eye protection, electric shock hazards, unguarded machinery, inaccessible emergency exit ladder, unmarked or obscured exit signs, uninspected fire extinguisher, lack of silica exposure monitoring and deficient monitoring records.

“Complying with OSHA regulations and manufacturers’ recommendations for forklift equipment could have prevented this tragedy,” said Rosemarie O. Cole, OSHA’s New Hampshire area director, in a U.S. Department of Labor press releaese. “Employers are legally obligated to ensure that the equipment workers use is safe to operate and that hazards within the workplace have been identified and corrected to prevent potentially fatal or disabling injuries.”

OSHA’s Powered Industrial Trucks page provides detailed information on hazards, safeguards, training and safe operation of forklifts. OSHA also provides information on hazardous energy control, silica, machine guarding, noise, and eye and face protection.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor