Many Wisconsin employees are exposed to hazards in the workplace on a daily basis. Some companies don't tell workers about on-the-job dangers or train them to handle occupational hazards safely. Neglect leads to needless injuries, workers' compensation claims and permanent disabilities or death.
According to a recent report, federal regulators from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration visited Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries LLC 20 times during the last three years. In each inspection, OSHA found wrongdoing at the metal foundry that might have posed serious health risks for employees, like respiratory problems, back or neck injuries.
When regulators recently checked the Browntown facility, it discovered Grede has not corrected safety problems from the past. Twenty-eight health violations were uncovered. Many were repeat instances.
The international company owns 17 foundries and four machining operations throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Two-hundred people work for Grede in Browntown.
Grede was cited three times for failing to protect workers from breathing deadly crystalline silica dust, which can cause cancer or severe lung problems, even with limited exposure. Other serious safety flaws at the foundry included substandard guard railings, inadequate protective wear for metalworking employees and the lack of hazardous materials training.
OSHA recommended fines of more than $274,000 for the recent Grede violations. The company was placed on a severe violator list for the willful repetition of safety violations, including worker silica dust exposure and machine and energy-related issues.
Grede's severe violator status means OSHA may inspect any of the company's U.S. work sites.
The safety hazards found at Grede had the potential to cause permanent harm or kill workers. A repeat violation is an identical safety issue that crops up within any company facility during the last five years.
OSHA works under the U.S. Department of Labor to enforce work safety rules. Workers' compensation attorneys aid clients who have difficulty with claims for injuries and illnesses they received as a result of workplace accidents or dangers.
Source: manufacturing.net, "OSHA Fines Metal Castings Firm $274,000 For Repeat Violations," Joel Hans, Feb. 5, 2013