STOW — A Stow company has been fined more than $300,000 for exposing employees to excessive noise after 12 employees’ audiograms indicated mild to moderate hearing loss.
Polystar Inc., doing business as Polystar Containment at 1676 Commerce Drive, faces penalties totaling $331,490, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA conducted an inspection of the facility in response to a complaint it received. Investigators determined that the company failed to implement an audiometric testing program to monitor employee hearing loss, and controls to reduce noise levels; use machine guards; provide adequate respiratory protection; remove damaged forklifts from use; train workers on hazardous communication; and store flammable materials properly.
A spokesman for Polystar said the company is not going to comment on the citations.
"Failing to protect employees from excessive noise can lead to long-term and irreversible hearing loss," said Howard Eberts, director of OSHA’s Cleveland Area Office. "Employers are required to take appropriate precautions to keep employees safe from well-known hazards."
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. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.