OSHA cited Ansonia Copper & Brass Inc. of Ansonia, Conn., for alleged serious, repeat and other violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and proposed penalties totaling $48,500.
According to OSHA, the alleged violations were discovered during an inspection of the company''s metal casting and extrusion plant, which took place between June 5 and Nov. 2.
The inspection was initiated as the result of an accident which occurred June 3 in which two employees of the company were seriously burned in an explosion during a casting operation involving molten metal.
Clifford Weston, OSHA area director in Bridgeport, noted that the explosion resulted from the molten metal, which was being poured into a mold, coming into direct contact with water in the casting tank as the result of a leak in the mold.
"Our investigation determined that employees in this plant were simply not properly protected against such serious injuries not only with regard to the condition of the equipment they were provided to use, but also with regard to the condition of the equipment they were provided to work with, the procedures they were required to follow and the training they received from their employer," said Weston.
"The most disturbing aspect of all this is," continued Weston. "that this employer has been cited previously for similar violations following similar accidents, and, as yet, has failed to take the necessary steps to properly protect these workers."
Weston noted that problems were also found with regard to employee exposures to cadmium, a toxic heavy metal used in many of the alloys cast in the plant.
Consequently, he said, Ansonia Copper & Brass is being cited for the following alleged safety and health violations.
Three serious violations for:
- failing to require employee use of protective face equipment;
- failing to supply and require the use of respirators by employees entering regulated areas; and
- failing to provide biological sampling for employees exposed to cadmium.
Two alleged repeat violations for:
- failing to protect employees from exposure to burn injuries from molten metal explosions in metal casting operations; and
- failing to require the use of proper protective equipment by employees involved in molten metal casting operations.
Two alleged other-than-serious violations for:
- failing to place hazard warning labels on containers of cadmium metal; and
- failing to include in air monitoring records the name, social security number and job classification of monitored employees.
by Virginia Sutcliffe