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OSHA Regional News Brief
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Region 5


Please note: As of January 20, 2017, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

 

 

August 4, 2016

 

 

OSHA finds Wisconsin foundry employees at risk for permanent hearing loss,
respiratory illness, other dangers from exposure to noise, silica

Employer name: Waupaca Foundry Inc.
1955 Brunner Drive
Waupaca, Wisconsin

Citations issued: July 29, 2016

Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued two repeat and two serious safety violations to Waupaca Foundry Inc.

An investigation found Waupaca overexposed its employees to:

The company also failed to implement a formaldehyde training program and engineering and administrative controls to reduce exposure to hazards.

Quote: "Waupaca's willingness to continually allow occupational noise that exceeds safety standards puts its workers at risk of permanent hearing loss and undermines their quality of life," said Robert Bonack, OSHA's area director in Appleton. "Our inspectors also found workers exposed to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide and silica dust, a known respiratory hazard that can cause cancer and other health complications. Like all employers, Waupaca Foundry is responsible for implementing health and safety programs to protect its employees from exposure to these and other hazards."

Proposed Penalties: $56,950.

View Citations here.

Information: In March 2016, OSHA announced a final rule to improve protections for workers exposed to respirable silica dust. The rule will curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. About 2.3 million men and women face exposure to respirable crystalline silica in their workplaces, including two million construction workers who drill and cut silica-containing materials such as concrete and stone, and 300,000 workers in operations such as brick manufacturing, foundries and hydraulic fracturing. Most employers can limit harmful dust exposure by using equipment that is widely available - generally using water to keep dust from getting into the air or a ventilation system to capture dust where it is created.

Background: Waupaca Foundry is a leader producer of iron castings and employs about 4,000 workers at nine foundry, machining and assembly plants. The company is based in Waupaca and has three foundries in the city as well as locations in Marinette, Wisconsin; Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Appleton Area Office at 920-734-4521.

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Media Contacts:

Scott Allen, 312-353-6976, allen.scott@dol.gov
Rhonda Burke, 312-353-6976, burke.rhonda@dol.gov

Release Number: 16-1544-CHI


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