AFS, OSHA Ally on Safety, Health Issues

March 24, 2004
Main goal: developing training and education programs

The American Foundry Society and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration have formally agreed to work together to improve safety and health for metalcasting industry workers. Together, OSHA and AFS agreed to provide AFS member companies and others, including smaller metalcasters, “with information, guidance, and access to training resources that focus on reducing and preventing silica exposure, as well as addressing other workplace issues, particularly personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilation.”

A primary goal is to develop training and education programs to address hazards in the foundry workplace and review and provide input into AFS' OSHA Compliance Seminar. AFS and OSHA will work together to provide OSHA's Office of Training and Education with expertise on education and training regarding foundry workplace hazards.

Also, the two parties plan to speak, exhibit, and appear at conferences and other events, such as the annual Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) conference. They plant to cross-train OSHA personnel and industry safety and health professionals in foundry best practices or effective approaches.

Both organizations will work with other Alliance participants on specific issues and projects regarding silica, PPE, and ventilation issues that are addressed and developed through OSHA's Alliance Program.

Finally, OSHA will encourage AFS members to participate in OSHA's cooperative programs such as compliance assistance, the Voluntary Protection Program, Consultation, and its Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).

Gary Mosher, AFS v.p.-environmental, safety, and health, said, "American Foundry Society and OSHA have a long history of joint efforts to promote safer more healthful workplaces.

"We believe formalizing this relationship into an Alliance on a national level is a major step towards increasing worker safety as it relates to the foundry industry. We look forward to our industry working directly with regulators to devise programs that add to these efforts," Mosher said.

"This Alliance affords us an opportunity to build upon the already-strong cooperative relationship we enjoy with AFS," said OSHA administrator John Henshaw. "Workers in the foundry industry will benefit significantly from the goals and objectives we've established here today."