April 7, 2015
Foundry workers exposed to numerous safety and health hazards
OSHA cites American Spincast Inc. in Belton, Texas,
with 50 violations, proposes $165,200 in fines
Employer name: American Spincast Inc.
Inspection site: Belton, Texas
Date inspection initiated and what prompted the inspection: This inspection, which includes both safety and health, began October 2014 as part of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Site Specific Targeting program, which directs enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces where the highest rates of injuries and illnesses occur. The health inspection was initiated under the National Emphasis Program on Primary Metals to identify and reduce exposures to harmful chemical and physical health hazards.
Investigation findings: American Spincast Inc., a foundry, employs about 70 workers in Belton. OSHA issued 32 serious safety violations and 18 serious health violations. Some of the violations cited include failing to:
- provide guardrails or personal fall arrest systems for work on elevated locations;
- ensure forklift man basket had safe design and was properly attached;
- provide machine guarding for lathes, saws, sander, conveyors and other machinery;
- guard transmission belts and pulleys on multiple machines;
- ensure arc welding cables were undamaged;
- implement administrative or engineering controls when noise levels exceed 100 decibels;
- ensure flammable liquids were stored in tanks or closed containers; and
- provide Hazard Communication training on methylene chloride and hexavalent chromium.
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.
Proposed penalties: $165,200
Quote: "These workers were needlessly exposed to hearing loss, falls and other dangers," said Casey Perkins, area director of OSHA's Austin Area Office. "American Spincast failed to provide the minimal protective standards required by law. Employers need to implement programs for finding and fixing these hazards before workers become seriously injured or receive irreversible health effects."
Information: The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and 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 Austin Area Office at 512-374-0271.
Release Number: 15-553-DAL
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