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Follow up inspection at Wisconsin foundry doesn’t go well

Nine violations despite nine months to fix hazards

November 14, 2012
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OSHAOSHA has cited Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries LLC for nine – including two repeat – safety violations at the company's Berlin iron foundry. These carry $56,320 in proposed penalties.

"Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries is compromising the safety of its workers by allowing previously cited deficiencies to continue without correction," said Frank Winingham, OSHA's area director in Appleton. "Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to workers' well-being."

OSHA conducted an inspection in May as a follow-up to an August 2010 inspection.

The repeat violations are operating a grinder with a missing guard and failing to have a cover on an electrical junction box. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited based on the 2010 inspection.

Seven serious violations include fall hazards stemming from unguarded, open-sided platforms and a lack of fall protection equipment; failing to correct unsafe crane conditions found on inspection; and failing to properly guard machines' nip points and chain sprockets. Some of the violations also involve OSHA's electrical safety standards, including allowing excessive dust to build up on electrical equipment, using electrical equipment above water puddles, having open doors on electrical panels and failing to remove defective equipment from service.

Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries employs about 3,000 workers at the Berlin facility, which produces sand castings and specializes in ductile and gray iron. The company is operated by Southfield, Mich.-based Grede Holdings LLC, which has 21 facilities in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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