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Shippensburg foundry facing big financial penalties from OSHA

How many times does a company have to be disciplined by a government agency in order to make changes that improve workplace safety? In the case of one Shippensburg company, the answer isn't yet clear, but for the third time in four years, the company -- Domestic Casting Co. -- has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for multiple safety violations.

The company was cited in 2011 and in 2013, and this year's violations are similar to the ones before, focusing on worker safety. It wasn't clear if any company employees had been injured on the job as a result of conditions at the foundry, but OSHA clearly thought that the circumstances made it possible, if not likely, for this to occur.

Among the violations that were found to compromise worker safety were:

  • Open-sided doors without handrails.
  • Exposed chains and sprocket wheels.
  • Improperly guarded pulleys.
  • Cranes that were not properly inspected.
  • Failing to secure loads on forklifts.
  • Ladders installed with insufficient clearance space.
  • Workers exposed to hazards that could lead to electric shocks, falls or amputations.

As a result of the investigation by OSHA, the company is facing more than $160,000 in penalties. The violations in question involve 16 that OSHA terms as serious, plus seven violations that were noted in previous disciplinary actions.

Employees who perform dangerous jobs -- or any jobs at all, in fact -- deserve to have safe, stable working conditions. Workers who are injured during the course of their employment may be eligible for workers' compensation. An attorney experienced in this area can be a valuable resource for people who find themselves in this situation.

Source: Recycling Today, "OSHA fines Pennsylvania foundry for repeat violations," March 12, 2014

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