CONCORD — A Northwood stone countertop manufacturer faces $87,516 in penalties by federal safety regulators after a stone slab fell off a storage rack and crushed an employee to death on July 19.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Quartz and Stone Creations of New Hampshire LLC for 12 serious and six “other-than-serious” violations, according to a news release.
The company declined comment Monday afternoon, citing an ongoing investigation.
“OSHA inspectors cited the company for using improperly modified forklifts, which adversely affected their lifting capacity and safe operation,” the news release reads.
The agency also cited the company for the following:
Failing to remove defective forklifts from service
Inadequate inspections of the forklifts
Failing to train employees
Allowing employees to work and pass beneath elevated forklift boom
Inadequate lockout/tagout program
Lack of eye protection
Electric shock hazards
Inaccessible emergency exit ladder,
Unmarked or obscured exit signs,
Uninspected fire extinguisher,
Lack of silica exposure monitoring and
Deficient monitoring records
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.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.
“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 statement. “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.”