The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration has cited C & H Die Casting Inc., Troy, TX, for 15 serious safety and health standards violations it discovered during a September 2014 inspection. The agency proposed penalties totaling $66,400 for the violations, and the manufacturer was allowed 15 business days from its receipt of the citations to comply with the penalty, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
It is the second time in 18 months that the Texas high-pressure diecasting operation has been cited by OSHA, and some of the conditions still in evidence in the more recent inspection resulted in citations for repeat violations.
C & H Die Casting is an aluminum high-pressure diecaster producing component parts for automotive, diesel engine, HVAC, and other industrial markets. It has approximately 315 workers
The manufacturer was cited in February 2013 for 30 serious safety and health violations discovered in August 2012, including using spliced electrical cords. Those citations carried $112,500 in proposed fines.
Last September, OSHA investigators found C & H Die Casting workers still being exposed to electrical shock hazards, a repeat violation that led to a proposed $22,000 penalty.
OSHA classifies violations according to the degree of severity: “other than serious”, “serious,” “willful,” and “repeat” violations. Serious violations are those from which death or serious physical harm may result, and which an employer knew or should have known existed.
OSHA's interpretation of a “repeat” violation is one that is substantially similar to at least one prior violation by the same employer.
“Once again, C & H has failed to provide a workplace free from hazards that could seriously harm workers,” stated OSHA’s Austin, TX, area director Casey Perkins. “Waiting until a worker has been injured or killed to find and fix these hazards is unacceptable.”
The more recent inspection also resulted in 14 serious safety violations carrying a $44,400 penalty. OSHA stated these include the diecaster failing to repair damaged and uneven concrete floors; failure to guard belts, pulleys and shafts; and numerous electrical violations, including spliced welding cables, uncovered welding terminals, missing grounding prongs on electrical cords and unlabeled circuit breaker panels.
In addition, OSHA investigators witnessed a worker pouring molten metal into dies without proper personal protective equipment, exposing him to burn hazards.
The diecaster has not commented on the allegations.