June 14, 2005
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited United States Pipe and Foundry Co. and proposed penalties totaling $71,000 following inspections at the company's Bessemer, Ala., plant in response to a fatal accident last fall.
On Oct. 27 dislodged crane cables struck and killed a foundry employee. Although the company is a molten metal industry health partner with OSHA, the agency began a fatality investigation Oct. 28 and initiated plantwide safety and health inspections Nov. 4.
The company received two serious citations directly related to the fatality, with proposed penalties of $9,500, for failing to have a safety latch on a gantry crane hook and failing to ensure that employees used personal protective equipment, such as hard hats.
OSHA also issued 20 additional serious citations, with proposed penalties of $61,500, alleging other deficiencies in gantry and overhead cranes; inadequate personal protective equipment and eyewash stations for employees working with corrosive materials; improper labeling and storage of hazardous chemicals; failing to provide employees with safety and health training; lack of fall protection; failing to protect workers from electrical hazards; exposing employees to injuries from unguarded machinery; and improperly locking and tagging machinery to prevent start-up during maintenance or repair.