OSHA has fined a Brooklyn, N.Y., foundry $144,750 for a litany of safety and health violations, including unguarded machinery, inadequate hearing protection, lead overexposures and a steam explosion hazard.

J&J Bronze & Aluminum Casting Corp. was cited for a total of 33 alleged willful, serious and other-than-serious hazards following OSHA health and safety inspections that started in February.

Inspections revealed that employees exposed to high noise levels were not provided an audiometric testing program and audiograms to measure possible hearing loss, and that saw blades and abrasive grinders were not guarded against employee contact. These conditions resulted in three willful citations.

In addition, the company was issued 28 serious citations, including
  • employee overexposure to lead and the absence of work practices, engineering controls, respirators, a clean changing room, showers, medical surveillance, employee training and other required safeguards;
  • a deficient hazard communication program;
  • lack of hearing protection and eye protection; and
  • no hearing conservation training.

Among the safety hazards was a potential steam explosion hazard in the plant’s furnace and mold form areas that had a wet fire sprinkler system. Metal in these areas can be heated as high as 2,100 degrees. If water from the sprinklers came in contact with the molten metal, the resulting pressure and steam could generate an explosive reaction.