Employers have a duty to provide their employees with safe working conditions. This makes it all the more concerning when they fail to correct known safety issues. Unfortunately, this seems to be what may be happening at an iron foundry in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. The company was recently cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for several safety violations, many of which are repeat violations, and all of which could have resulted in workplace accidents or injuries.
OSHA cited Domestic Casting Co. LLC with four safety violations, three of which are repeat violations. The company was cited for violations involving live electrical parts and unguarded machinery in 2011 and again recently. These citations carry $44,100 in fines.
The serious (non-repeat) violation involved failing to have a standard railing on an open-sided walkway where employees could potentially fall into a wet bucket elevator. The violation is considered serious because the employer knew or should have known about the hazard, and it could result in death or serious injury. This citation alone carries a $4,900 penalty.
OSHA's Harrisburg office conducted the investigation. The director of the area office explained, "This company continues to put its workers at risk by failing to implement safety measures that would prevent serious injury and possible death for its workers."
Ninety-five workers are employed at the Shippensburg facility. The company now faces a total of $49,000 in proposed fines. Domestic Casting has 15 business days to respond to the citations. The company can choose to comply, request a conference with OSHA, or contest the citations before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA Regional News Release, June 25, 2012.