B.W. Grinding Co., doing business as B.W. Supply, is facing $205,100 in fines for 25 safety and health – including three willful – violations at the company’s Lyons, OH iron foundry, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.
OSHA initiated an inspection May 7 upon receiving complaints alleging hazards, and the inspection later expanded under the agency’s local emphasis programs on powered industrial vehicles and primary metals industries.
B.W. Supply employs 40 workers at the iron foundry, which produces a variety of castings. The company underwent an OSHA inspection on two previous occasions, both in 2007, and ended up getting citations for a lack of machine guarding, the improper control of hazardous energy and hazards related to powered industrial vehicles.
Two willful health violations involve failing to implement a hearing conservation program for workers who perform grinding operations as well as a respirator protection program that includes medical evaluations for workers who must wear powered air-purifying respirators.
One willful safety violation is failing to provide personal protective equipment for employees working around molten metal. 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.
“Employers such as B.W. Supply are responsible for knowing the hazards that exist in their facilities, and taking all precautions necessary to ensure that workers are trained and protected against those hazards,” said Kim Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo. “The use of personal protective equipment is an absolute necessity in the foundry industry and others that involve dangerous operations.”
Twenty serious safety and health violations involve exposing workers to “struck-by” and crushing hazards from under-the-hook lifting devices and damaged safety latches on crane and hoist hooks, burn hazards from ladles, improper storage and labeling of flammable and hazardous liquids, a lack of railings, improper storage of respirators and operating a damaged skip hoist. Additionally, the employer failed to ensure that loads of molten metal ended up secured and stable for safe transport, perform daily inspections of powered industrial vehicles, remove damaged vehicles from service, provide safety guards on a wheel grinder, properly implement a respirator protection program that included fit testing, determine workers’ exposure to silica, and provide personal protective equipment for workers’ eyes, hands and faces. 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 health violations are failing to properly record injuries and illnesses in the company’s 2012 logs, and identify the names of workers who applied lockout devices. 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.