Silica Dust Citations Carry $274,500 in Proposed Penalties

OSHA cited Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries LLC, an iron foundry, for 28 alleged violations.

OSHA has added Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries LLC to its Severe Violator Enforcement Program and cited the company, an iron foundry, for 28 health violations, three of them classified as repeat violations, under the national and regional emphasis program on primary metal industries for exposing workers to crystalline silica dust. The company is located in Browntown, Wis., and OSHA inspected it in August 2012. The proposed penalties total $274,500.

"Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries is compromising the safety of its workers by allowing previously cited deficiencies to continue," said Kim Stille, OSHA's area director in Madison. "Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to workers' well-being. OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job."

The three repeat violations are for allegedly exposing workers to respirable dust containing silica above the recommended exposure level, unguarded conveyor tail pulleys, and failing to apply energy isolating devices to equipment during service and maintenance. OSHA's news release said similar violations were cited in 2010 after an inspection at the company's Berlin plant and in 2009 at the Browntown plant.

The citations also allege 24 serious violations for items including confined space permit regulations; excessive accumulation of sand and dust; unguarded railings; failing to provide adequate PPE for eyes, hands, and face to protect against metal splash hazards; lockout/tagout; training on hazardous chemicals; and providing employee representatives with access to exposure records within a reasonable time frame.

The release says Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries employs about 200 workers at the Browntown facility, which produces castings in ductile and gray iron and is operated by Southfield, Mich.-based Grede Holdings LLC. Since 2010, the company has been inspected by OSHA 20 times. The citations can be viewed here.

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