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SANDWICH, Ill (WorkersCompensation.com) – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited aluminum castings producer Trio Foundry Inc., which operates as Sandwich Castings and Machine, with 20 health and safety violations, including one willful and one repeat violation. A health inspection that began Jan. 13 was initiated at the facility in Sandwich as part of OSHA's Local Emphasis Program for Primary Metals. Upon finding several safety violations, OSHA subsequently opened a safety inspection on Feb. 10. Proposed penalties total $113,300.
"Trio Foundry Inc. is responsible for ensuring that workers are properly protected from inherent hazards in the metal casting industry, such as amputations," said Kathy Webb, OSHA's area director in North Aurora. "Employers cited with repeat violations demonstrate a disregard for workplace safety and health laws. OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."
The willful safety violation is failing to protect the operator of a belt sander from "caught-in" hazards and rotating parts. 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.
The repeat safety violation involves a lack of guarding on an abrasive grinder wheel. 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 other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations at the same facility were cited in 2009.
Nine serious safety violations involve a lack of machine guarding, the documentation of "lockout/tagout" procedures for machines' energy sources, proper electrical equipment maintenance, personal protective equipment and safety training for maintenance workers handling electrical equipment. Seven serious health violations involve using an unsecured propane tank as fuel for heat as well as failing to provide personal protective equipment against exposure and contact to molten metal, ensure adequate housekeeping to prevent aluminum dust accumulation on surfaces and floors, train and evaluate forklift drivers, and provide workers with hazardous chemical safety information and training in hazard communication. 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.
Two other-than-serious violations involve failing to maintain a written and certified personal protective equipment hazard assessment as well as certification that employees received training in the use of the equipment. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm. The citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/TrioFoundry_111193_191156_0710_12.pdf*.
In addition to the Sandwich facility, Aurora-based Trio Industries operates a foundry in Montgomery. The Sandwich facility, where about 25 workers are employed, has been inspected by OSHA four other times since 2007.
Trio Industries has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's North Aurora Area Office at 630-896-8700.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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