OSHA fines foundry following fatal accident investigation

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.