PA Iron Foundry Faces Safety Fines, Again

Friday, January 16, 2015 @ 04:01 PM gHale

For the eighth time since 2011, Domestic Casting’s iron foundry is facing fines for not protecting its employees from safety and health hazards, this time for 27 violations over two months at its Shippensburg, PA, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA inspected the facility three times in June and July and issued $152,912 in fines for dangers previously found by OSHA inspectors, including fall, machine guarding, and sling hazards.

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Domestic Casting Co. LLC produces castings weighing anywhere from one to 500 pounds. In the last three years, the company routinely ended up cited for safety and health violations. In August 2013, OSHA placed the company in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program after an inspection discovered it again failed to protect workers from electrical hazards and properly guard pits.

“This company continues to ignore its employees’ safety by exposing them to dangers, including falls and hazards associated with lifting heavy loads. Domestic Casting must take immediate action to remove these hazards to protect workers from the risk of serious injury and possible death,” said Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA’s Harrisburg Area Office.

Domestic Casting exposed employees to dangerous falls by not providing fall protection for workers performing maintenance on an abrasive blasting machine, and not properly guarding platforms. The company also failed to mark chain slings used for lifting heavy loads to identify size, grade, capacity and reach. Two willful violations had a $52,350 penalty. 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.

Deficiencies in the foundry’s lockout/tagout and respiratory protection programs, as well as electrical, fall, and machine guard hazards, were among the 12 repeat violations, carrying a $76,692 penalty. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously faced the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Domestic Casting previously faced these same violations in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

OSHA proposed a $23,870 penalty for eight serious violations involving unguarded machinery, forklift, struck-by and electrical hazards, and fire extinguishers not maintained. 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.

There were five additional other-than-serious safety and health violations, but they carried no monetary penalty.

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