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OSHA Cites Georgia Foundry for Electrical, Respiratory Hazards

March 12, 2024
Aludyne Columbus LLC is contesting a total of 25 citations based on federal investigators’ report that it failed to outfit workers safely and allowed excess levels of airborne silica, among other findings, drawing over $180,00 in proposed penalties.

Aludyne Columbus LLC – a Columbus, GA, foundry operating as a unit of a global casting and machining group – has been cited for 22 serious safety violations by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Three other-than-serious violations were also noted. The 25 citations carry proposed penalties of $182,324.

Aludyne has contested OSHA’s findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA terminology identifies a “serious” violation as one from which death or serious physical harm may result, and about which an employer knew or should have known exists. A violation that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but is not serious in nature, is identified as "other than serious."

As detailed by OSHA, the agency initiated an inspection of Aludyne Columbus in August 2023 based on a complaint. Six days later, federal safety investigators discovered that a maintenance technician at the foundry had suffered severe injuries from an electrical transformer explosion. This led to OSHA opening a second investigation, which revealed that the technician had been severely injured by an arc flash while attempting to replace a blown fuse on a transformer.

In its summary, OSHA detailed that Aludyne Columbus failed to require employees to wear appropriately certified electrical suits while changing out electrical components in a high-voltage energized area. Further, the foundry allowed workers to use non-insulated tools within approximately 12 inches of energized power lines in a high-voltage energized area.

In addition, the foundry exposed workers to an airborne concentration of respirable silica up to 15 times higher than the permissible time-weighted average; and it failed to provide National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-approved respirators to employees exposed to silicosis hazards. And, Aludyne did not provide fit-testing to workers required to wear respirators while exposed to crystalline silica.

OSHA also cited Aludyne Columbus for failing to provide protective equipment like goggles and gloves to workers handling chemicals, and it did not keep an emergency eye-wash station free from debris and ready for immediate use.

“Aludyne Columbus LLC’s failure to prioritize employee safety and health nearly cost a worker their life and allowed employees to be overexposed to silica well above the permissible exposure limit,” stated OSHA Atlanta-west area office director Jeffery Stawowy. “This employer must take worker safety seriously by assessing hazards and taking responsibility for protecting their workers.”