For the eighth time since 2011, Domestic Casting Co.’s iron foundry has been investigated, cited, and fined by OSHA for not protecting its employees from safety and health hazards. OSHA’s three most recent inspections in June and July 2014 at the Shippensburg, Pa., facility found 27 total violations and issued $152,912 in fines for many dangers previously found by OSHA inspectors, including fall, machine guarding and sling hazards.
“This company continues to ignore its employees’ safety by exposing them to dangers, including falls and hazards associated with lifting heavy loads. Domestic Casting must take immediate action to remove these hazards to protect workers from the risk of serious injury and possible death,” said Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA’s Harrisburg Area Office.
Domestic Casting Co. LLC produces castings weighing anywhere from 1 to 500 pounds. In the last three years, the company routinely has been cited for safety and health violations. In August 2013, the company was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program after an inspection discovered it again failed to protect workers from electrical hazards and properly guard pits.
Domestic Casting allegedly exposed employees to dangerous falls by not providing fall protection for workers performing maintenance on an abrasive blasting machine, and not properly guarding platforms. The company also failed to mark chain slings used for lifting heavy loads to identify size, grade, capacity and reach. Two willful violations with a $52,350 penalty were cited for these violations. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Deficiencies in the foundry’s lockout/tagout and respiratory protection programs, as well as electrical, fall, and machine guard hazards, were among the 12 repeat violations, carrying a $76,692 penalty. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Domestic Casting was previously cited for these same violations in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
OSHA proposed a $23,870 penalty for eight serious violations involving unguarded machinery, forklift, struck-by and electrical hazards, and fire extinguishers not maintained. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Five additional other-than-serious safety and health violations were cited but carried no monetary penalty.
Domestic Casting has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with Kilp or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.