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Region 4 News Release: 11-1403-ATL (482)
Oct. 4, 2011
Contact: Michael D'Aquino      Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076      404-562-2078
Email: d'aquino.michael@dol.gov      wald.michael@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites US Pipe and Foundry Co. for
27 safety violations at Bessemer, Ala., plant; $85,000 proposed in penalties

BESSEMER, Ala. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited U.S. Pipe and Foundry Co. for 27 safety violations at its Bessemer manufacturing plant. Proposed penalties total $85,000.

Sixteen serious violations with $76,000 in penalties involve allowing water on the floor near machinery and without needed drainage, an uneven floor surface that had gaps, an uncovered hole in the floor, four instances in which machinery lacked guards, a control panel for a grinder that was not marked, stairs that were missing an intermediate railing, steps that were damaged, an unsecure scaffold platform, a scaffold plank that was improperly set on a scaffold, a crane that was not marked with its rated load capacity and drums containing chemicals that were not labeled. Furthermore, an employee was observed operating a forklift without using a seat belt, and forklifts were operated that did not have working flashing lights or alarm signals for backing up. 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.

Eleven other-than-serious violations with penalties of $9,000 involve failing to record work-related injuries in 2008, 2009 and 2010 in the OSHA log; correctly record restricted injury and days away from work information in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011; inspect a fire extinguisher at least monthly; and inspect energy control procedures annually. 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.

"The safety of this company's employees is compromised due to management's failure to perform maintenance and take common-sense steps to prevent injuries," said Roberto Sanchez, director of OSHA's area office in Birmingham. "OSHA will not tolerate this kind of blatant disregard for workers' well-being."

U.S. Pipe and Foundry, which produces iron pipes used in the water and wastewater industries, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Birmingham Area Office, located at 950 N. 22 St., Suite 1050, Birmingham, Ala. 35203.

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 its Birmingham office at 205-731-1534.

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.

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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.


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