Ductile Iron Pipe Manufacturer Cited for 27 Safety Violations by OSHA

Lack of machinery guards, railings, safety labels, and record keeping miscues total $85,000 in proposed fines

U.S. Pipe and Foundry Co. was cited by U.S. OSHA for 27 safety violations at the Bessemer, AL manufacturing plant. The 16 serious violations and 11 other-than-serious violations carry a fine totaling $85,000.

The plant, which began operations in 1889, produces ductile iron pipe in sizes ranging from 14- to 64-inches and up to 20 ft. in length. Joint configurations, mechanical joint, flanged, and bootless ductile iron pipe are also produced at the plant.

Penalties totaling $76,000 for the serious violations cover hazards such as water on the floor near machinery and without necessary drainage; uneven floors with uncovered holes; a lack of guards over machinery and control panels; damaged stairs and lack of railings; unsecured scaffolding and a lack of railings; and a mislabeled crane and drums containing chemicals. An employee was observed operating a forklift without a seatbelt and without functioning lights and alarm signals for backing up.

The 11 other-than-serious violations, which carry proposed fines of $9,000, cover missteps in recordkeeping from 2008-11, and inspection failures of fire extinguishers and energy control procedures.

As is the process, U.S. Pipe and Foundry has 15 days from the original citation date to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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