Monika Hartl
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OSHA, WI Foundries Renew Partnership To Increase Safety

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a renewed partnership with northeast Wisconsin foundries to continue efforts to improve ergonomic programs and help decrease the rate of musculoskeletal injuries.

According to OSHA, the foundry industry continues to have a high rate of musculoskeletal and other types of ergonomic-related injuries because the work involves tasks like moving heavy equipment, handling materials and the use of pneumatic equipment like grinders and sanders.

The partnership originally began in 2003 with Neenah Foundry, Thyssen Krupp Waupaca Foundry, Brillion Iron Works, Roloff Manufacturing Corp., Manitowoc Grey Iron Foundry and Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry Co. The renewed partnership includes Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers Locals 121B, 271 and 301; the United Steel Workers Local 125; the International Association of Machinist Locals 516 and 1947; the Mercury Marine-Division f Brunswick Corp.; the Professional Association of County Employees Local 70475; and C.A. Lawton Co.

According to OSHA, the partnership tries to decrease the rates of injuries through education, hazard assessments, as re-engineering work stations as well as implementing additional safety and health training and sharing best practices when possible.

The partnership between the foundries and OSHA helped produce a 2012 OSHA publication entitled “Solutions for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Injuries in Foundries.” The publication suggests solutions that are both successful and cost-effective in helping reduce that type of injury.

These risk factors include the following:

  • Exerting high levels of force to handle or move materials;
  • Doing the same or similar tasks repetitively;
  • Working in awkward postures;
  • Maintaining static (i.e., non-moving) body postures for long periods;
  • Coming in contact with sharp edges that press into the skin; and
  • Being exposed to vibrating tools and work surfaces.

If you have suffered serious injury from a work-related accident, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced Wisconsin workers’ compensation attorney. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

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