Foundry Faces $146,000 Fine after National Emphasis Program Crackdown

OSHA inspectors found that workers melting and pouring casts were exposed to mechanical, welding, electrical, and confined space hazards, as well as a lack of machine guarding.

OSHA has cited Bradken Inc. with 27 serious and seven other-than-serious violations for exposing workers to safety and health violations at the company's steel alloy casting facility in Amite, La. Proposed penalties total $146,000.

OSHA's Baton Rouge Area Office began its inspection at the company’s facility as part of two national emphasis programs, one on amputations and the other on primary metals. Inspectors found that workers melting and pouring casts were exposed to mechanical, welding, electrical, and confined space hazards, as well as a lack of machine guarding.

The serious violations include failing to repair damaged and unguarded electrical equipment, such as safety switches and control panels; ensure that electrical shut-off devices were accessible; ground electrical equipment; properly splice electrical cords; regularly inspect electrical equipment; properly store compressed gas cylinders and ensure that shut-off valves were accessible; provide adequate hazardous energy control equipment; provide required machine guarding; properly maintain cranes; provide fall protection such as guardrails or personal fall arrest systems; properly label containers; and provide training on the use of forklifts.

The other-than-serious violations include failing to ensure that exits were clear of materials, fire extinguishers were easily accessible, and breaker panels were accessible and properly labeled.

"Employers are responsible for recognizing the hazards that exist in their facilities and fixing them," said Dorinda Folse, OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge. "Failing to take precautions against safety and health hazards unnecessarily puts workers at risk of serious injuries and illnesses."

Bradken, a global supplier headquartered in Waratah, Australia, employs about 270 workers at the Amite facility, which produces large steel alloy castings for the mining, freight rail, and steel industries worldwide.

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