Monika Hartl
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Iron Foundry Faces More Than Quarter Million In OSHA Fines

A Browntown, Wis. company was cited for 28 violations and fined more than a quarter of a million dollars by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration this week.

According to OSHA, Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries LLC was cited for 28 health violations, including three repeat violations, one of the most serious for exposing workers to crystalline silica dust and other hazards at the iron foundry following an August 2012 inspection. They are facing fines of $274,500 for the violations.

“Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries is compromising the safety of its workers by allowing previously cited deficiencies to continue,” said Kim Stille, OSHA’s area director in Madison. “Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to workers’ well-being. OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job.”

The three repeat violations were for exposing workers to respirable dust containing silica above the recommended exposure level, unguarded conveyor tail pulleys and failing to apply energy isolating devices to equipment during service and maintenance. Similar violations were cited following a 2010 inspection at the Berlin plant and a 2009 inspection at the Browntown plant.

Twenty four of the violations were serious and included excessive accumulation of sand and dust, unguarded railings and failure to provide adequate personal protective equipment for employees to guard against metal splash hazards, among others.

One other-than-serious violation was also issued for not allowing OSHA representatives prompt access to employee exposure records.

According to OSHA, Grede Wisconsin Subsidaries employs about 200 workers at the Browntown facility and is operated by a Michigan-based company. The company last was cited in November 2012 on seven violations in a follow-up inspection at its Berlin plant.

OSHA has placed Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. They have 15 business days to comply with the violations and penalties, request an informal conference or contest the findings. .

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