Since 1971 OSHA has been conducting inspections of
foundries and identifying safety and health hazards. Almost 40 years later, much
still needs to be done to improve workers safety and health, resulting in OSHA
continuing to identify the same kinds of foundry safety and health hazards. Last
September, the AK Steel Corporation’s Mansfield Plant OSHA Strategic Partnership
(OSP) and the OSHA Toledo Area Office in Region V decided to do something about
First, the Director of the Toledo Area Office sent out an invitation letter to
all foundries in the state of Ohio using the Ohio Manufacturing Guide which
lists all industries in the state based on Standard Industrial Classification
(SIC) code. Approximately 250 foundries were invited. The invitation letter
included the following questions:
- Are your employees wearing the proper protective equipment when working
around molten metal or when exposed to electrical hazards?
- Is your respiratory protection program properly implemented?
- Is lockout properly performed when setting up molding machines or cleaning
- Are employees exposed to fall hazards in excess of four feet when working
on equipment or standing on sand molds?
- What chemical inhalation and contact hazards should I anticipate for my
routine production operations?
Then the companies were invited to attend a free, one-day informational foundry
seminar on October 22, 2008, hosted by the AK Steel Corporation’s Mansfield
Plant OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP) and the Toledo Area Office in Region V.
The main purpose of the seminar was to help foundries in Ohio identify and
correct workplace hazards before a serious injury occurred, and teach
participants how wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE) can save the
lives of foundry workers.
Seminar speakers included Todd Jenson, Compliance Officer, Toledo Area Office;
Sterling, Certified Industrial Hygienist, Auburn Environmental; Bob Nicholson,
Electrical Designer, JDRM Engineering; and Scott Feil, Assistant Area Director,
Toledo Area Office. Safety professionals from AK Steel, Onsite Consultation, and
the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) were also available to answer
questions and provide information on safety and health hazards affecting foundry
Feedback – Seminar Attendee Testimonials
A key seminar topic included common hazards found in foundries and appropriate
corrective measures; lockout, confined space, protective equipment, machine
guarding, cranes, hearing conservation, silica, respiratory protection, and
heavy metals. Other topics addressed included how to develop and implement
effective safety and health management systems (SHMS), how the National Fire
Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 70E (Electrical Safety in the Workplace)
applies to OSHA regulations, and best ergonomic practices. Attendees provided
very positive feedback about the seminar. Examples of some of the attendees’
testimonials included the following:
"My only wish is that they would have had this kind of program
before…Unfortunately there are a lot of people in this industry that have not
been educated in these processes as they have been brought through a system
that did not keep up to the standards which multiplies the problem…these
seminars will help open eyes and educate hopefully before a disaster
strikes... I would say that you will see more interest next year once word of
mouth gets out about today’s presentations. Good Job."
"I liked discussions with different companies and their employees, variety of
presentations, and the frankness of OSHA."
"Enthusiasm of the presenters, topics were right on target, expertise of
presenters. It was a great event that promoted AK Steel and OSHA. Furnace
personal protection equipment (PPE)/pouring PPE considerations – easy to
understand, copies of presentation…Excellent base of information which was
directly applicable to our company, helped me identify areas for improvement
and for additional training, great job."
"All presentations were very good. I liked presentation on what OSHA’s seeing.
Interacting with others and sharing information and making new contacts was
maybe the best thing. I applaud OSHA for pulling this together."
"Excellent speakers, great facilities, interesting interaction with
"This was one of the best ideas of OSHA outreach to employers. This program
brought in resources to employers like outside contractors and offered safety
contacts like BWC. Continue the education as a team approach to safety by BWC,
OSHA, and safety contractors. Great Job!"
"Presenters were excellent, great examples, practical take always."
"I liked the overview in the first presentation which was pretty much a wall
to wall of concerns in the foundry. It was also good to see the standards and
resources that compliance officers consult. The NFPA presentation was very
thorough and way informative. I got a lot of resources to use for reference."
"I thought the entire program was very informative, great job."
Over 65 representatives from 35 different foundries and related companies
were in attendance – not only from the state of Ohio – but also from Kansas,
Missouri, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Due to the overall success and
positive feedback about the seminar, the Toledo Area Office has decided to make
the foundry seminar an annual event.
The key objectives of the OSP are to reduce worker injury
and illness rates through the development, implementation, and maintenance of
effective SHMS that focus on reducing key hazards; increase employee
involvement; and conduct monthly safety audits to identify and eliminate
employee exposure to hazards. A couple of informal goals of the OSP are to
develop a better working relationship between AK Steel, the union, and OSHA, and
consider attaining Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) status, OSHA’s premier
recognition program, in the future.
Origin: OSHA Region V, Toledo Area Office
Partners: AK Steel Corporation Mansfield Plant
Partnership Signed: February 28, 2007
Industry: Foundry (NAICS Code 3315)
Source and Date: Jule Hovi, Director, Toledo Area
Office; Charles Shelton, Compliance Assistance Specialist, Toledo Area Office;
and Julie Evans, Team Leader, Chicago Regional Office (November 2008)
AK Steel Plant, Mansfield, Ohio
AK Steel’s Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) vendor and AK Steels PPE used
in the mill. Notice the OSP poster on the right hand side!
Todd Jensen, Toledo Area Office CSHO, conducting training.
Bob Sterling, Auburn Environmental, discussing environmental SHMS.