Wisconsin Foundry Faces $200K Fines

MARINETTE, WI – The recent federal safety inspections of a northern Wisconsin foundry determined workplace safety failures caused two workers to suffer severe injuries.  In May, a worker lost two fingers to amputation and in July, an overhead hot metal carrier struck and injured another worker. US Department of Labor proposes $200K in fines for the foundry. The company has 15 business days to comply, request a conference, or contest the findings before the independent OSHRC. Waupaca Foundry Inc. is a leading supplier of iron castings to the automotive, commercial vehicle, agriculture, construction, and industrial markets.

A-Wisconsin-foundry-faces-200k-Fines
A Total of Three Inspections Led to Penalties of $200K

While OSHA investigated the incident at Waupaca Foundry Inc. in Marinette, the agency opened a second scheduled inspection under its National Emphasis Program for Primary Metals. Inspectors found violations related to exposures to respirable crystalline silica and noise. The employer reported the July 17 injury to inspectors during the second inspection, which led to a third inspection. After completing the three inspections, OSHA issued one willful, seven serious, and five other-than-serious violations to Waupaca Foundry. The proposed penalties are $200,895.

The Violations

OSHA determined that a lack of energy control procedures, commonly known as lockout/tagout, exposed workers to hazards in both incidents. OSHA cited the following violations:

The foundry industry had a 6.4 percent rate of injury in 2020

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the foundry industry had a 6.4 percent injury rate for every 100 workers in 2020.  “Foundries are inherently dangerous industrial operations. The workers are exposed to hazards from machinery, trips and falls, occupational noise, and respirable silica,” said OSHA Area Director Robert Bonack in Appleton. “Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers,” he continued.

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, establishing a complete and comprehensive Lockout Tagout program that includes clear and precise lockout procedures for all workers is imperative. Partnering with certified lockout technicians and safety experts on developing LOTO procedures and placards allows faster and more accurate turnaround times. Additionally, routine safety training can also prevent accidents and avoid fines, ensuring the highest level of safety and efficiency in your workplace.

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Concrete Manufacturer Faces $118K Penalties

DRUMMONDS, TN U.S. Department of Labor finds a Mississippi concrete products manufacturer and distributor had ignored safety measures following a fatal accident investigation. Investigators determined the manufacturer’s employee was engulfed in rock while trying to repair a rockhopper of a mobile concrete plant. The industrial accident caused the death of a 67-year-old worker at a Drummonds worksite in April 2021. The OSHA investigation has found Mississippi Limestone Corp. could have prevented this tragedy if the manufacturer had followed federal workplace requirements. Mississippi Limestone Corp. faces $118K in proposed penalties.

Concrete Products Manufacturer Faces $118K Penalties for Ignoring Safety Measures

OSHA’s Citation and Penalties

OSHA cited the manufacturer for not evaluating the workplace to determine that spaces,  such as the rockhopper, were permit-required confined spaces. Investigators also found the company failed to establish a written permit space program for workers and didn’t provide adequate training. Additionally, the manufacturer failed to implement an energy control program for workers conducting maintenance on the plant.

OSHA also cited Mississippi Limestone Corp. for willfully exposing workers to fall hazards by not installing a stair rail system. The company also failed to evaluate each powered industrial truck operator and remove unsafe vehicles from service as required. “Mississippi Limestone’s failure to comply with safety and health requirements exposed workers to life-threatening hazards that led to the loss of a man’s life,” said OSHA Area Director William Cochran in Nashville, Tennessee. “Putting workers’ safety and health in jeopardy should never be an option. OSHA will hold employers accountable and ensure they meet their legal obligation to protect workers on the job,” Cochran continued.

Additionally, OSHA issued a notice to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with one serious violation for exposing workers to amputation, asphyxiation, and crushing hazards. Mississippi Limestone Corp. performs contract-based manufacturing for the U.S. Army Corps in connection with the Mississippi River Corps of Engineers Channel Improvement program. Under Executive Order 12196, federal agencies must comply with the same safety and health standards as private sector employers covered under the OSH Act. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.

Fall Protection is OSHA’s Most Frequently Cited Standard for the 11th Consecutive Year

OSHA recently revealed its top 10 most frequently cited standards for the 2021 fiscal year using preliminary data. This information is valuable for businesses to identify common exposures that affect their workforce and provide them with the necessary information to plan for compliance programs. Although several standards swapped positions, the criteria that make up the Top 10 Violations remained unchanged from FY 2020. Fall Protection remained OSHA’s most frequently cited standard for the 11th consecutive fiscal year in a row.

Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by scheduling regular workplace fall protection and confined space training.

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OSHA Seeks $709K Fine From Paint Manufacturer

Columbus, OH – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) seeks a $709K fine from a paint manufacturer connected with a fatal April 8 fire and explosion. The incident occurred in Columbus’s Yenkin-Majestic Paint and OPC Polymers Corporation. The company manufactures and markets industrial coatings that include acrylics, alkyds, coil and powder coatings, epoxies, primers, and urethanes. The tragedy linked to eight hospitalizations and one fatality. Property damage alone was more than $1 million. A building in the OPC Polymer unit collapsed as a result of the incident. The blast shook neighboring buildings, and at least one nearby business sustained damage.

OSHA Imposed a $709K fine for Ohio Paint Manufacturer

The tragedy could have been prevented

“Yenkin-Majestic Paint Corp. could have prevented this tragedy if they had followed industry standards and removed a compromised kettle from service,” said Acting OSHA Regional Administrator William Donovan in Chicago. “Knowing that this company altered equipment, failed to use a qualified fabricator, and returned equipment to service knowing that it did not meet safety standards is unacceptable,” Donovan continued. In December 2020, the manufacturer altered the kettle reactor vessel and the manway opening but did not ensure the vessel maintained its pressure-containing ability. On January 3, following the alteration, the newly installed manway failed. The company made additional alterations to the vessel when installing a new gasket. It again failed to adhere to OSHA’s PSM, pressure vessel inspection procedures, and the American Petroleum Institute’s pressure vessel inspection code.

OSHA’s investigation determined the kettle reactor vessel released a flammable vapor cloud when its manway cover and gasket failed. The vapor flowed throughout the plant, ignited, and caused the initial explosion.

The citations and penalties

OSHA cited the Ohio paint and resins manufacturer with two willful and 33 serious safety violations. The violations including of the process safety management (PSM) and hazardous waste operations and emergency response (HAZWOPER) standards. OSHA also cited the employer for lack of employee safety training and personal protective equipment (PPE). The agency proposed penalties totaling $709,960 and placed Yenkin-Majestic in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). Willful violations will be cited when an employer knowingly disregards or acts indifferently for safety and health laws and regulations. Employers included in the SVEP are subject to mandatory follow-up inspections and under pressure to abide by cited safety hazards.

The U.S.Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) also dispatched investigators to the Columbus facility following the incident. The CSB is an independent federal agency that investigates industrial chemical accidents. CSB investigations can take several months and result in a report containing recommendations for government agencies, companies, trade associations, labor unions, and other groups.

Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by including regular workplace safety training.

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