July 12, 2007 — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing fines totaling $220,620 against Ohio's Quincy Castings Inc., for alleged multiple willful, serious, and repeat violations of federal workplace safety and health standards. Quincy Castings is a gray and ductile iron foundry in Quincy, OH, near Dayton, supplying customers in a range of industries, including manufacturers of pumps and valves, hand tools, medical equipment, agriculture equipment, power transmission, compressors, and food processing, among others.
OSHA reports that these violations were discovered in the course of an investigation under the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Initiative, which targets hazardous workplaces based on their histories of injury and illness cases. It opened this investigation of Quincy Castings Inc. in January, though OSHA says it has inspected the company 13 times since 1979, issuing a total of 80 citations.
OSHA explains that it issued citations to Quincy Castings for three willful, 24 serious, and four repeat violations. The willful citations allege failure to provide guarding around sand preparation equipment, to protect employees from rotating equipment, improperly regulating compressed air, and failure to have adequate engineering controls for overexposures to crystalline silica. OSHA alleges that numerous employees were overexposed to crystalline silica.
The serious safety citations allege that Quincy Castings failed to ensure that employees wear flame-retardant clothing and protective gear while pouring molten metal; that pouring ladles and spreader bars lacked capacity markings; that safety latches were missing from hoist hooks; that machine lockout procedures were not in place, to prevent accidental start-ups of equipment; that a defective forklift was in service; that a bridge crane did not have functioning brakes, and was not inspected daily; and that fire exits in the facility were blocked.
The serious health citations include the allegations that Quincy Castings failed to provide medical surveillance for employees overexposed to crystalline silica; failed to have an effective program for respiratory protection and evaluation; failed to provide proper respirator training, and failed to fit workers properly for respirators; and allowed workers to have facial hair (which interferes with respirator sealing.)
The four alleged repeat violations involve failing to apply lockout device; not properly training employees on lockout procedures; unguarded pinch-point hazards; and a defective fire exit sign.