Essroc Cement fined $92k for workplace hazards

Essroc Cement Corp faces $92K in federal fines for exposing workers to machine, noise and respiratory hazards at its Ohio site.

The US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation into Essroc’s Middlebranch, Ohio, site in November 2015 after receiving a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions.

OSHA’s investigation found several safety and health violations. Essroc failed to install machine guarding on rotating barrels; develop machine specific safety procedures; protect workers from excessive noise exposure; develop a respiratory protection program; train workers to operate powered industrial vehicles; inspect fire extinguishers and cranes as required; and maintain dry, clean floors.

OSHA issued citations and proposed the fine last week as a result of the investigation. An Essroc executive on Monday morning said the corporation contests the fine and has requested a conference with OSHA to discuss the matter.

Craig Becker, Essroc’s senior vice president of human resources, acknowledged there were some safety concerns at the Ohio facility, a slag-grinding facility that employs seven people, but those concerns were all addressed in a timely fashion and no one was ever injured at the facility. “It’s a very small operation, but we’re still very concerned about safety there,” he said.

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