The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration in November cited Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries LLC for nine safety violations at its iron foundry in Berlin, WI. The agency indicated the violations carry total penalties of $56,320.
Employers cited by OSHA are allowed 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with an OSHA area director, or contest the findings before the independent commission.
The foundry is an operating unit of Grede Holdings LLC, a holding company for 17 operations in the U.S. and Mexico producing ductile, gray, and specialty iron castings. The group also has four specialty machining operations.
OSHA indicated Grede’s violations were discovered in a May 2012 inspection at Berlin, WI, conducted as a follow-up to an August 2010 inspection.
Two of the circumstances OSHA cited are characterized as “repeat” violations: The inspectors discovered the foundry was operating a grinder without a guard, and did not have a cover for an electrical junction box. Repeat violations are those for which an employer has been cited previously within the last five years. Similar violations were cited after the 2010 inspection at the foundry, according to OSHA.
Seven other violations were termed “serious,” including fall hazards related to unguarded, open-sided platforms and a lack of fall protection equipment; failing to correct unsafe crane conditions found during inspection; and failing to guard machines' nip points and chain sprockets properly.
Some other violations involve electrical-safety standards, including allowing excessive dust to build up on electrical equipment, using electrical equipment above water puddles, having open doors on electrical panels and failing to remove defective equipment from service.
Serious violation are those that inspectors determine present “a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.”
"Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries is compromising the safety of its workers by allowing previously cited deficiencies to continue without correction," stated Frank Winingham, OSHA's area director in Appleton.