OSHA inspection trends in copper foundries

Posted By: Jerrod Weaver Government Affairs, Health & Safety, Industry,

Between November 27, 2022, and November 27, 2023, the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported a total of 24 inspections within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 331529, Other Nonferrous Metal Foundries (except Die-Casting). The data also includes inspections conducted by state-plan states such as Michigan and Oregon.

The outcome of these 24 inspections revealed a total of 21 violations reported. Among the24 inspected firms, 7 were found to have one or more violations reported. The initial penalties issued for these violations amounted to $119,895. However, through subsequent negotiation as part of informal settlement agreement discussions, this figure was reduced to $71,014.

The violations were classified into two categories: 17 were deemed 'serious' infractions, emphasizing critical safety concerns, while the remaining four were categorized as 'other' violations. Delving deeper into the specifics, the citations cover a range of safety topics, shedding light on areas demanding increased attention within the copper and other nonferrous foundry industry:

  • Silica – 6 citations
  • Personal Protective Equipment – 4 citations
  • Machine Guarding – 1 citation
  • Respirator Program - 1 citation
  • Hazard Communication – 1 citation
  • Slings – 1 citation
  • General Duty Clause – 1 citation
  • Employee Training – 1 citation
  • Abrasive Wheel Machinery – 1 citation

The areas with the most reported violations, such as silica exposure and personal protective equipment (PPE), demand immediate attention by others within the same NAICS 331529 to ensure their own safety and health programs satisfy OSHA regulations and provide a safe working environment for their employees. This report underscores the significance of proactive safety initiatives and serves as a reminder for copper foundries to continuously evaluate and improve their safety practices to ensure the well-being of their workforce.