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OSHA Cites Elyria Foundry, Proposes +$200,000 in Penalties

May 23, 2010
Citations involve workers PPE, equipment guards, engineering controls for dust
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Ohio’s Elyria Foundry Co. LLC with 29 alleged serious and three repeat safety and health violations. The citations followed an injury that necessitated amputation of a worker’s lower arm. OSHA is proposing penalties totaling $201,500. Elyria Foundry was given 15 business days from the receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 makes employers responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. Elyria Foundry is a gray and ductile iron operation that produces various castings for refrigeration and gas compressors, pumps/valves, automotive components, and industrial and process machine parts. Following a November 2009 safety inspection, OSHA cited Elyria Foundry with 25 serious and three repeat safety violations, proposing penalties that totaled $183,000. Some of the violations cited at that time concerned the foundry’s failure to provide adequate personal protective equipment to employees; failure to provide proper eye protection while working with a sulfur dioxide tank; a lack of emergency escape respirators for workers; a lack of proper guarding on power band saws; blocked exit doors; failure to provide safety latches on crane hooks; and failure to provide fall protection. According OSHA’s standards, a “serious” violation is one that may lead to death or serious physical harm and that an employer knew or should have known exists. “Repeat” violation is one for which an employer has been cited previously for the same or a substantially similar condition or hazard at any other facility in federal enforcement states. Elyria Foundry also received three other than serious violations, including one for not paying for workers’ personal protective equipment. The foundry also was cited with four serious health violations and a proposed $18,500 penalty, concerning its alleged failure to provide proper respiratory protection and engineering controls for workers exposed to dust containing silica; failure to ensure workers used proper hearing protection; and a lack of proper labeling on hazardous material storage containers. According to OSHA, Elyria Foundry has been inspected 10 times since 1984 and previously has been issued 21 serious violations. "It is the responsibility of employers to ensure workers are provided proper protective equipment and to ensure all safety and health regulations are being adhered to, especially at dangerous workplaces like a foundry," stated OSHA Area Director Jule Hovi. "Those who ignore these safety and health regulations are inviting tragedy into the lives of their workers."