July 10, 2007
Contact: Scott Allen
QUNICY, Ohio -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $220,620 in fines against Quincy Castings Inc. for alleged multiple willful, serious and repeat violations of federal workplace safety and health standards.
OSHA discovered the violations at the iron foundry business, which employs 80 people, through an investigation under the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Initiative, which targets the nation's most hazardous workplaces based on their histories of having high numbers of injury and illness cases.
"Iron foundries are potentially dangerous workplaces," said Jule Hovi, director of OSHA's area office in Toledo, Ohio. "Employers must remain committed to keeping the workplace safe and healthful or face close scrutiny by OSHA."
OSHA has issued citations for three willful, 24 serious and four repeat violations. The willful citations allege failure to provide guarding around sand preparation machinery to protect employees from rotating equipment, improperly regulating compressed air used for cleaning, and failure to have adequate engineering controls for overexposures to crystalline silica, thus overexposing multiple employees.
The serious safety citations include alleged failure to use flame retardant clothing and protective gear while pouring molten metal, a lack of capacity markings on pouring ladles and spreader bars, absence of safety latches from hoist hooks, lack of machine lockout procedures to prevent accidental start-ups of equipment, failure to remove a defective forklift from service, a lack of functioning brakes on and daily inspections of a bridge crane, and blocked fire exits.
The serious health citations include alleged failure to provide medical surveillance for employees overexposed to crystalline silica; failure to have an effective respiratory protection and evaluation program; failure to provide proper respirator training, failure to properly fit employees for respirators; and allowing employees to have facial hair, which interferes with the sealing of respirators.
The four alleged repeat violations are for failing to apply lockout devices, not properly training employees on lockout procedures, unguarded pinch point hazards and a defective fire exit sign.
OSHA opened its latest investigation of Quincy Castings Inc. in January 2007. The agency previously had inspected the company on 13 occasions since 1979, issuing a total of 80 citations.
OSHA's mission is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by preventing injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The agency has a vigorous enforcement program, having conducted more than 38,000 inspections last year and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last seven years. In fiscal year 2006, OSHA found nearly 84,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
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 assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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