OSHA cites La Crosse foundry after furnace death - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

OSHA cites La Crosse foundry after furnace death

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) - A federal safety agency has cited a Wisconsin iron foundry for safety violations after a furnace worker was fatally injured last year.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited La Crosse-based Torrance Castings Inc. for 10 safety violations.

The 30-year-old worker was working alone in a confined space while doing maintenance on July 29. He fell into a furnace he was trying to reline. He had worked at the foundry about two years.

OSHA issued nine serious violations. Four violations involve OSHA regulations for entering a confined space not designed for an employee to occupy continuously.

The company was cited for failing to:
-Implement a written confined space permit program and develop procedures and practicesto allow safe entry for electric inductive furnaces.
-Prepare an entry permit prior to entry into the inductive furnace.
-Provide an attendant outside the permit space for the duration of the entryoperation.
Other violations include:
-Failing to ensure employees pouring metal and shifting weights were wearing armprotection and using face shields.
-Failing to include the health effects of silica, copper and other hazardous materialsin employee training programs.
-Failing to have a workbench for the stand grinder.
-Allowing a worker to clean equipment suspended by a half-ton chain hoist.
-Using electrical equipment in the powdered paint room not rated for such use.
"Torrance Casting has a responsibility to protect workers from known hazards. In this case,OSHA's permit-required confined space standards explain how to keep workers safe when entering these spaces," said Kim Stille, OSHA's area director in Madison. "Preventable deaths are completely unacceptable, and employers are responsible for ensuring thatthey do not happen at their facilities."

OSHA is proposing fines totaling more than $47,700. The company has 15 business days to comply or contest the findings.


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