A company that owns a concrete manufacturing plant in Northeast Texas could owe more than $400,000 in fines after a worker was allegedly injured.
On January 3, 2022, an employee at Armorock’s facility at Sulphur Springs was reportedly struck by a large mold while working. The U.S. Department of Labor said he was left with severe injuries.
An Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation into the company determined that it failed to install machine guards that would have prevented the accident. Officials also claimed that an accident similar to this happened in March 2021.
Federal inspectors also asserted that the facility’s poorly maintained environment exposed workers to unacceptable airborne concentrations of crystalline silica.
Individuals who breathe in airborne silica crystals are at risk of illnesses such as kidney disease, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It can also lead to disability and death.
Armorock has about 100 employees total in its facilities at Sulphur Springs in Texas, Boulder City in Nevada, and Plant City in Florida, according to CBS 11.
The company was issued citations for 25 serious alleged violations, one categorized as willful; the total proposed penalties amount to $400,902. Alleged offenses for which the company was cited include: not implementing a process safety management program, failing to protect workers from several other workplace hazards, and failing to provide guards on other machines.
Employers are legally obligated to provide a safe workplace for all employees, including temporary workers.
“When they do not, the U.S. Department of Labor will hold them accountable,” said OSHA Area Director Basil Singh, adding that Armorock’s “willingness to” ignore hazards that caused a worker’s injury was “difficult to understand.”
Being issued a citation does not confirm a company has violated the regulations.
The concrete manufacturer has 15 business days from the date of receipt to either comply with the citations, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the results of the review before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.