Schenectady County

OSHA fines Scotia cement plant

The U.S. Labor Department on Tuesday imposed a $509,000 fine against Cranesville Aggregates Co. for

The U.S. Labor Department on Tuesday imposed a $509,000 fine against Cranesville Aggregates Co. for violating dozens of workplace safety and health standards.

Ted Fitzgerald of the Boston office of the Labor Department called the fine one of the largest by the Albany OSHA office in years.

The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, alleges Cranesville committed 33 “willful, repeat and serious” violations at its Scotia Bag Plant, resulting in fines of $375,000.

“The significant fines proposed here reflect the breadth and gravity of hazards found at this plant, their recurring nature and this employer’s knowledge,” said Jordan Barab, OSHA acting assistant secretary.

OSHA said its inspectors found that employees who bagged cement at the Scotia facility were exposed to excessive levels of cement dust without adequate ventilation, respiratory protection, personal protective equipment and training.

Joe Tesiero, head of Cranesville Aggregate Co., had no comment on the OSHA fines, according to a company secretary.

Fitzgerald said willful violations mean the employer intentionally disregarded or exhibited plain indifference to employee safety and health.

OSHA fined Cranesville Aggregate Co. $75,000 for seven repeat citations at its facilities in Kingston, Glens Falls and Fishkill, and $59,000 for 20 serious violations at these facilities. Fitzgerald said OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

At the Kingston, Glens Falls and Fishkill facilities, OSHA said it found unsanitary conditions, unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals and personal fall and electrical hazards. It also found obstructed exits, unguarded machinery and other hazards.

Tesiero has until Dec. 3 to comply, meet with OSHA or contest the findings before an independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The Tesiero family owns Cranesville Block and the Riverfront Mall in Amsterdam, as well as other local properties. The family owns and operates Cranesville Aggregates, which has 24 ready mix concrete facilities, 10 aggregate locations and nine concrete block and pre-cast retail centers, according to the company’s Web site.

Scotia addresses are listed as 427 Sacandaga Rd., for Cranseville Aggregates and 1741 Vley Rd. for Cranesville Concrete.

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