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

Unguarded machinery,

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.”

Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Tuesday, June 02, 2020