DELAWARE, OH – 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.”
“Employers should develop comprehensive safety and health programs to ensure that workers are trained about hazards in the workplace and proper safety and health precautions,” said OSHA Area Director Larry Johnson, in Columbus, Ohio. “OSHA’s Crystalline Silica page provides information on what employers must do to limit worker exposures to silica in general industry, construction, and maritime industries.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the 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.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.