The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently cited KVK Foundry Inc. in Millington, IL, for two willful and two repeat violations the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
KVK Foundry is an aluminum sand casting operation that supplies castings up to 180 lb. for a range of automotive, off-road, heavy equipment, and industrial products.
The citations followed a March 2014 follow-up inspection of the foundry and concluded the operation failed to maintain requirements of OSHA's respiratory protection and hearing conservation standards.
In addition, OSHA found that KVK Foundry failed to provide medical evaluations and annual fit testing for employees using respirators. It further stated that KVK Foundry failed to obtain yearly audiograms for employees exposed to noise at or above the eight-hour time-weighted average, and did not post safety warnings that combustible aluminum dust should not be allowed to accumulate in the grinding room.
The foundry was cited for these violations previously, in December 2012, OSHA noted.
OSHA classifies safety violations as “willful” if it is knowingly committed by the employer, or committed with “plain indifference” to the law. The employer either knows that what he or she is doing constitutes a violation, or is aware that a hazardous condition existed and made no reasonable effort to eliminate it.
OSHA's interpretation of a “repeat” violation is one that is substantially similar to at least one prior violation by the same employer.
In these current cases, the agency proposed penalties of $48,928 in these incidents.
KVK Foundry 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.
"OSHA's follow-up found that KVK Foundry initially fixed hazards cited in the first inspection, but lapsed into unsafe practices. KVK did not maintain the important standards that protect the long-term hearing and respiratory health of employees," stated OSHA area director Jake Scott,. "Employers, who are cited for repeat violations, demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health."
OSHA found that KVK Foundry failed to provide medical evaluations and annual fit testing for employees using respirators. The company failed to obtain yearly audiograms for employees exposed to noise at or above the eight-hour time-weighted average and did not post a safety instruction sign to warn employees that combustible aluminum dust should not be allowed to accumulate in the grinding room.
OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer was previously cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.