Safety Report: Steel Firm Faces Fines

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 06:03 PM gHale


Bradken Inc. is facing a $146,000 fine for 27 serious and seven other-than-serious violations for exposing workers to safety and health violations at the company’s steel alloy casting facility in Amite, LA, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.

OSHA’s Baton Rouge Area Office began its inspection at the Foulkes Lane facility as part of two national emphasis programs, one on amputations and the other on primary metals. Inspectors found workers melting and pouring casts suffered exposure to mechanical, welding, electrical and confined space hazards, as well as a lack of machine guarding.

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The serious violations include failing to repair damaged and unguarded electrical equipment, such as safety switches and control panels; ensure that electrical shut-off devices were accessible; ground electrical equipment; properly splice electrical cords; regularly inspect electrical equipment; properly store compressed gas cylinders and ensure that shut-off valves were accessible; provide adequate hazardous energy control equipment; provide required machine guarding; properly maintain cranes; provide fall protection such as guardrails or personal fall arrest systems; properly label containers; and provide training on the use of forklifts. 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.

The other-than-serious violations include failing to ensure exits were clear of materials, fire extinguishers were easily accessible, and breaker panels were accessible and properly labeled. 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.

“Employers are responsible for recognizing the hazards that exist in their facilities and fixing them,” said Dorinda Folse, OSHA’s area director in Baton Rouge.

Bradken, a global supplier headquartered in Waratah, Australia, employs about 270 workers at the Amite facility which makes large steel alloy castings for the mining, freight rail and steel industries worldwide.



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