OSHA Cites Kan. Company for Safety Violations

August 4, 2005

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited AmeriCast Technologies Inc. of Atchison, Kan., for 59 alleged serious, repeat, and other-than-serious safety and health violations, following targeted health and safety inspections of the foundry castings producer in February. Proposed penalties total $401,600.

AmeriCast Technologies Inc. does business as ASCM and has 1,100 employees company-wide with 600 at the Atchison facility. The inspections were conducted as part of OSHA’s “Site Specific Targeting” plan that targets workplaces reporting high rates of injuries and illnesses.

“OSHA’s goal is to ensure that workplace injury and illness rates continue to decline,” said Charles Adkins, OSHA’s regional administrator in Kansas City. “This significant penalty demonstrates OSHA’s commitment to assure compliance with job safety and health standards.”

The safety inspection resulted in citations for 20 repeat and 18 serious alleged violations with a total proposed penalty of $285,700. The health inspection led to citations for nine repeat, eight serious, and four other-than-serious alleged violations and carried an $115,900 total proposed penalty.

Alleged serious safety violations included deficient standard guardrail height; lack of emergency exits; no testing for electrical protective equipment; lack of powered industrial truck operator training; unguarded rotating fan blades and saw blades; insufficient personal protective equipment for workers near welding operations; ungrounded electrical equipment; and flexible cords not protected from accidental damage. Additionally, serious health violations included lack of training programs for hearing conservation and hazard communication, no respiratory program, and improper storage of combustible waste material.

The total of 29 repeat violations included fall protection, ladders or scaffolding; lockout/tagout; machine guarding; incorrect welding cable splices; absence of electrical disconnect labeling; and extension cords being used in lieu of permanent wiring. Over-exposure to crystalline silica, slip hazards, and lack of eye wash facilities also were included in the repeat violations. Other-than-serious violations were in the categories of recordkeeping, noise monitoring programs and improper storage of LP tanks.

OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer is cited for a hazard for which it has been cited in the past. Serious violations are those in which there is substantial probability of death or serious physical harm from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

Within 15 working days from receipt of the citations the company must opt to comply with them, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest them before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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