ASTM Committee E34 Casts Safety Standard for Foundry Operations

Jan. 5, 2004
A new draft standard has been released by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee E34 on Occupational Health and Safety that could improve safety in metal casting operations.

The draft, "Standard Specification for Safety Requirements in Metal Casting Operations - Sand Preparation; Molding and Core Making; Melting and

Pouring; and Cleaning and Finishing," combines three former standards from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) into one document. The documents "have been in use by the foundry industry since 1972 and are still being referred to by foundries and regulatory agencies," revealed Tom Slavin, manager of occupational safety and health for International Truck and Engine Corp. in Warrenville, Ill.

Slavin, chair of Subcommittee E34.20 on Foundry Safety and Health, which is responsible for the standard, says that the American Foundry Society approached ASTM International to bring these documents into its consensus process because a standard is needed by the foundry industry for its specialized equipment and unique hazards. For example, hoist ropes used to carry ladles of molten metal are subject to greater stresses than ropes used to carry cold loads, and the standard addresses these design considerations.

In addition, there is a particular safety concern in the foundry industry about water and moisture, which even in small amounts can be hazardous. When molten metal contacts water or moisture, because of the heat-induced expansion of water from liquid to steam, an explosion can occur. Consequently, the standard covers safe zones, run-out pits and other protection strategies.

The E34 Committee will meet April 18-19 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Nov. 7-8 in Washington, D.C. Interested stakeholders, including people with experience and expertise in the foundry environment and suppliers of foundry equipment, are encouraged to participate in the standard-setting process.

For meeting and membership details, contact Jim Olshefsky, director, Committee Services, ASTM International, at (610) 832-9714 or [email protected]. Information about the draft standard can be found at by keying WK1007 into the Standards Search field.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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