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Region 8 News Release:    56-OSHA
8-24-99
Contact: Ernie Sanchez
Office Phone: 303-844-1303 / Home Phone: 303-987-1056

Exposure to Silica Can Be Fatal:

INTEGRA CASTINGS USA L.L.C. ISSUED OSHA PENALTIES OF $325,360 FOR WILLFUL, REPEAT & SERIOUS VIOLATIONS AT CANDO FACILITY

Integra Castings USA L.L.C. of Winkler, Manitoba Canada has been cited for four willful, seven repeat, and 10 serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The company was issued proposed penalties of $325,360 for the problems at its Cando, N.Dak.. location.

The Bismarck Area Office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Integra after an OSHA inspection of its Integra Castings gray iron foundry facility in Cando.

Bruce Beelman, Bismarck OSHA area director, today said the violations resulted from a follow- up inspection of previous serious citations.

Beelman can be reached at (701)- 250-4521.

The willful citations were issued for overexposing employees to silica; lack of engineering controls, and lack of respiratory protection. Willful citations also were issued for not informing new employees of the hazards of workplace chemicals and for inadequate personal protective equipment when exposed to burn hazards.

The repeat citations were issued for hazards associated with unguarded open-sided floors; unmarked emergency egress; improper lockout/tagout procedures; compressed air hazards, lack of personal protective equipment hazard assessment; lack of a written respiratory protection plan; and unlabeled confined spaces.

The serious citations were issued for lack of adequate guards for floor stand grinders; lack of emergency eye wash/body flushing station where phenolic resin is used; failing to inform employees of the existence of medical and exposure records; various fall hazard on machinery and equipment; lack of emergency action training for new hires; inadequate machine guards on equipment; failure to evaluate the workplace for confined space hazards; failure to identify and evaluate respiratory hazards; and failure to establish a permit program for confined spaces; and various electrical hazards throughout the workplace.

Beelman notes that silica exposure is known to cause silicosis, a disabling, progressive and sometimes fatal lung disease caused by breathing in fine particles of crystalline silica. Crystalline silica is a component of the sand used in foundry molding operations.

Nearly two million U.S.workers are exposed to crystalline silica in industries such as, sand blasting, painting, foundries, tunnel construction, and highway construction, Beelman added.

Each year more than 250 employees die from exposure to silica.

"This total disregard for employees safety and health is not acceptable and cannot be tolerated, there can be no excuse for failing to protect workers from these well known hazards," Beelman said.

Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and its regulations.

Repeat violations are defined as those where the employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition.

A Serious violation is defined as one committed where there is substantial probability that death or physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

Integra Castings USA L.L.C. has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.


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