OSHA announced Oct. 7 that it has cited and fined an Ohio foundry $270,048 in penalties for three repeated and 18 serious health violations.
The Department of Labor agency said the fines are against Liberty Casting Company for exposing employees to crystalline silica above the permissible levels at the Delaware, OH foundry.
In August 2018, an explosion and subsequent fire at the Liberty Casting foundry injured five third-shit employees.
OSHA inspectors determined that the company failed to implement engineering and work practice controls to limit employee exposure to silica, provide and require the use of respirators, develop an exposure control plan and medical surveillance procedures, and train employees on OSHA's silica standards. The company also failed to provide personal protective equipment; conduct hazard assessments; use adequate machine guarding, and develop lockout/tagout control procedures; and exposed employees to fall and electrical hazards.
"Exposure to silica can cause health disorders, including kidney disease and lung cancer," said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. "Employers using products containing silica in their operations are required to take all precautions to ensure employees are protected from life-threatening diseases."
"Employers should develop comprehensive safety and health programs to ensure that workers are trained about hazards in the workplace and proper safety and health precautions," said OSHA area director Larry Johnson, in Columbus, OH. "OSHA's Crystalline Silica page provides information on what employers must do to limit worker exposures to silica in general industry, construction, and maritime industries."
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and 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.