US Department of Labor's OSHA cites San Antonio-based AA Foundries
for willful, multiple serious safety and health violations
SAN ANTONIO – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited AA Foundries Inc. with one willful and 20 serious violations for exposing employees to excessive noise levels, lead and copper at the company's work site in San Antonio. Proposed penalties total $107,600.
"Exposing employees to excessive noise levels can cause hearing loss, and exposure to lead and other contaminants can seriously harm workers' health," said Jeff Funke, the agency's area director in San Antonio. "OSHA's standards exist to protect workers and must be followed to prevent these types of injuries."
An investigation that began on Oct. 24, 2011, as part of OSHA's Primary Metals National Emphasis Program found that employees were exposed to noise levels surpassing 85 decibels, as well as excessive airborne levels of lead and copper, while conducting operations such as pouring molds and grinding on metal cast.
The willful violation is for failing to ensure that employees underwent required annual audiograms. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Serious violations include failing to implement effective lead compliance and air monitoring programs protecting employees from overexposure to lead and other heavy metals such as copper and cadmium, ensure medical surveillance included blood lead testing and monitoring, and provide annual training on hazards of working with lead. Additionally, the employer failed to ensure that employees were protected by effective hearing conservation and respiratory protection programs, respectively. 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 citations can be viewed http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/aafoundries_315628503_0428_12.pdf*.
The company, which employs approximately 23 workers, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's San Antonio Area Office 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 San Antonio office at 210-472-5040.
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, audio tape 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.