Cincinnati, Ohio –The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may fine a Cincinnati foundry up to $128,700 for alleged multiple violations of federal workplace safety and health standards.
OSHA chose to inspect the foundry as part of a local program that emphasizes health and safety in the primary metal industry. The OSHA inspection began in January 2008 and uncovered a large number of violations.
In total, the inspection revealed an alleged 44 serious violations, including 33 safety violations and 11 health regulation problems. “Serious” citations are defined by OSHA as those that may cause serious physical harm or death, which the employer either knew about or should have known about.
The issues uncovered by the inspection include asbestos and silica exposure issues, failing to warn employees about hazardous chemicals, fire hazards, lack of periodic internal safety inspections, lack of personal protective equipment, fall hazards, energy control, training deficiencies, machine guarding, and electrical hazards.
One of the most dangerous violations includes the asbestos exposure allegations. Asbestos was commonly used throughout the twentieth century in many types of construction products due to its fire resistance and physical strength. The toxic material was also used in thousands of commercial, industrial, and domestic products.
However, the known dangers of asbestos, including its ability to cause cancer when the fibers are inhaled or ingested, has resulted in strict regulations controlling how asbestos is handled in the workplace. Where asbestos exposure is a possibility, protective equipment should be worn to prevent inhalation of the dangerous fibers.
Exposure to asbestos can cause serious and terminal diseases, including asbestosis and an aggressive and treatment-resistant cancer called mesothelioma. Silica is also known to cause similar health issues when inhaled. Both substances can cause a chronic lung disease characterized by gradual loss of lung function over an extended period of time.
Richard Gilgrist, director of the OSHA’s area office in Cincinnati, says, “Handling dangerous chemicals, electrical hazards, and machine guarding problems are issues that should not exist at any work site. Employers must remain dedicated to keeping the workplace safe and healthful, or face close OSHA scrutiny.”