US Labor Department's OSHA fines Bradken Inc. for exposing workers
to numerous safety and health hazards at Amite, La., foundry
AMITE, La. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Bradken Inc. with 27 serious and seven other-than-serious violations for exposing workers to safety and health violations at the company's steel alloy casting facility in Amite. Proposed penalties total $146,000.
OSHA's Baton Rouge Area Office began its inspection at the Foulkes Lane facility as part of two national emphasis programs, one on amputations and the other on primary metals. Inspectors found that workers melting and pouring casts were exposed to mechanical, welding, electrical and confined space hazards, as well as a lack of machine guarding.
The serious violations include failing to repair damaged and unguarded electrical equipment, such as safety switches and control panels; ensure that electrical shut-off devices were accessible; ground electrical equipment; properly splice electrical cords; regularly inspect electrical equipment; properly store compressed gas cylinders and ensure that shut-off valves were accessible; provide adequate hazardous energy control equipment; provide required machine guarding; properly maintain cranes; provide fall protection such as guardrails or personal fall arrest systems; properly label containers; and provide training on the use of forklifts. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The other-than-serious violations include failing to ensure that exits were clear of materials, fire extinguishers were easily accessible, and breaker panels were accessible and properly labeled. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
"Employers are responsible for recognizing the hazards that exist in their facilities and fixing them," said Dorinda Folse, OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge. "Failing to take precautions against safety and health hazards unnecessarily puts workers at risk of serious injuries and illnesses."
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/BradkenInc_314773920_0316_12.pdf*
Bradken, a global supplier headquartered in Waratah, Australia, employs about 270 workers at the Amite facility who produce large steel alloy castings for the mining, freight rail and steel industries worldwide. The company has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Baton Rouge Area Office, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report 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 Baton Rouge office at 225-398-5458.
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 ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audiotape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.