Franklin Nonferrous Foundry Inc. was cited for a total of 21 alleged willful, serious and repeat violations of workplace health and safety standards, which involved exposing their employees to airborne concentrations of lead and to high noise levels. Also, the employer allegedly had not implemented effective controls to reduce exposure levels, nor ensured the use of hearing and eye protection.
In addition, the foundry allegedly did not conduct required air and biological monitoring to see if workers had elevated lead levels in their blood systems or provide audiograms to determine if workers had sustained hearing loss. Continued overexposure to lead can damage the blood-forming, nervous, urinary and reproductive systems, according to OSHA.
As a result, the foundry is facing a total of $120,200 in proposed fines following an OSHA inspection that began on Sept. 15, 2005, in response to an employee complaint.
"These are clearly recognized hazards in foundry work that can lead to serious illness, injury and hearing loss if the required safeguards are not implemented or are ignored altogether," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's New Hampshire area director.
According to OSHA, this is the eighth time the agency has cited the foundry.
"This employer has known for years what steps must be taken to protect employees' health and safety, but has refused to implement them," Ohar added.