The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Liberty Casting Company for exposing employees to crystalline silica above the permissible exposure levels at the Delaware, Ohio, foundry. The company faces $270,048 in proposed penalties for three repeated and 18 serious health violations.
OSHA inspectors determined that the company failed to implement engineering and work practice controls to limit employee exposure to silica, provide and require the use of respirators, develop an exposure control plan and medical surveillance procedures, and train employees on OSHA's silica standards. The company also failed to provide personal protective equipment; conduct hazard assessments; use adequate machine guarding, and develop lockout/tagout control procedures; and exposed employees to fall and electrical hazards.
"Exposure to silica can cause health disorders, including kidney disease and lung cancer," said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. "Employers using products containing silica in their operations are required to take all precautions to ensure employees are protected from life-threatening diseases."