Castings Maker Faces Safety Fines

Monday, July 16, 2012 @ 06:07 PM gHale


Aluminum castings producer Trio Foundry Inc., which operates as Sandwich Castings and Machine, is facing $113,300 in fines for 20 health and safety violations, including one willful and one repeat violation, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

A health inspection that began Jan. 13 started at the facility in Sandwich, IL, as part of OSHA’s Local Emphasis Program for Primary Metals. Upon finding several safety violations, OSHA subsequently opened a safety inspection Feb. 10.

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“Trio Foundry Inc. is responsible for ensuring that workers are properly protected from inherent hazards in the metal casting industry, such as amputations,” said Kathy Webb, OSHA’s area director in North Aurora. “Employers cited with repeat violations demonstrate a disregard for workplace safety and health laws.”

The willful safety violation is failing to protect the operator of a belt sander from “caught-in” hazards and rotating parts. 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.

The repeat safety violation involves a lack of guarding on an abrasive grinder wheel. A repeat violation exists when an employer ends up facing a citation for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations at the same facility occurred in 2009.

Nine serious safety violations involve a lack of machine guarding, the documentation of “lockout/tagout” procedures for machines’ energy sources, proper electrical equipment maintenance, personal protective equipment and safety training for maintenance workers handling electrical equipment. Seven serious health violations involve using an unsecured propane tank as fuel for heat as well as failing to provide personal protective equipment against exposure and contact to molten metal, ensure adequate housekeeping to prevent aluminum dust accumulation on surfaces and floors, train and evaluate forklift drivers, and provide workers with hazardous chemical safety information and training in hazard communication. 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.

Two other-than-serious violations involve failing to maintain a written and certified personal protective equipment hazard assessment as well as certification that employees received training in the use of the equipment. 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.

In addition to the Sandwich facility, Aurora, IL-based Trio Industries operates a foundry in Montgomery. The Sandwich facility, where 25 workers work, has undergone OSHA inspections four other times since 2007.



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