Factory Faces Big Safety Fine

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 @ 03:02 PM gHale


Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries LLC is facing $274,500 in fines for 28 safety and health violations at its Browntown, WI, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA says the company is a three-time violator of rules against exposing workers to crystalline silica dust, in addition to the other violations found during an August 2012 inspection. The company is also on OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program due to its repeat violations.

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Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries LLC owns 17 metal foundries in the U.S. and northern Mexico, along with four machining centers in the U.S. Southfield, MI-based Grede Holdings LLC operates the company. The company has 200 employees at the Browntown facility.

Other violations found by OSHA include unguarded railings; failing to provide adequate personal protective equipment for eyes, hands, and face to protect against metal splash hazards; a failure to provide employees effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area; and others. These are serious violations because there is a “substantial” probability that death or permanent physical harm could result from the hazards. In addition, they are hazards the company either willfully ignored, or should have already known about.

The repeat violations center around the exposure to dust containing silica above the recommended exposure level, unguarded conveyor tail pulleys and the failure to apply energy isolating devices to equipment during service and maintenance. In order for a violation to be a repeat, the company must have had a violation at any other facility within the last five years.

The Severe Violator Enforcement Program focuses on companies that have “demonstrated indifference” to repeated warnings and citations by continuing to commit willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. As part of the program, OSHA may now inspect any of Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries LLC’s facilities or job sites for further violations.

OSHA has inspected the company’s 20 times since 2010, resulting in numerous violations.



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