WI Foundry Safety Fines

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 @ 05:11 PM gHale


Grede Holdings LLC of Southfield, MI, is facing $56,320 in fines for nine safety violations, including two repeat, at its iron foundry in eastern Wisconsin, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials said.

OSHA conducted an inspection in May of Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries’ iron foundry in Berlin as a follow up to an August 2010 inspection where it said officials found a number of violations, including equipment that was missing safety features and puddles of standing water near electrical equipment.

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“Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries is compromising the safety of its workers by allowing previously cited deficiencies to continue without correction,” said Frank Winingham, OSHA’s area director in Appleton, WI. “Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to workers’ well-being.”

The repeat violations are operating a grinder with a missing guard and failing to have a cover on an electrical junction box. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously faced citations 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. Inspectors found similar violations during the 2010 inspection.

Seven serious violations include fall hazards stemming from unguarded, open-sided platforms and a lack of fall protection equipment; failing to correct unsafe crane conditions found on inspection; and failing to properly guard machines’ nip points and chain sprockets.

Some of the violations also involve OSHA’s electrical safety standards, including allowing excessive dust to build up on electrical equipment, using electrical equipment above water puddles, having open doors on electrical panels and failing to remove defective equipment from service. 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.

Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries employs 3,000 workers at the Berlin facility, which produces sand castings and specializes in ductile and gray iron. The company’s parent, Grede Holdings LLC, has 21 facilities in the U.S., Europe and Japan.



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