The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a Browntown, Wisconsin, iron foundry a total of $275,000 for dozens of safety and health violations discovered during an inspection of the facility.
Reports show the facility received three repeat violations for continuing to overexpose workers to silica dust. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 1.7 million people are exposed to respirable crystalline Silica while working each year. Studies have shown breathing the material can lead to serious personal injury including:
- lung cancer,
- pulmonary tuberculosis,
- other airway diseases,
- autoimmune disorders,
- and chronic renal disease.
Other violations discovered included the failure to provide workers with adequate safety equipment to protect them from harm, and not providing employees with enough training and information about hazardous materials found in their work area. OSHA categorizes a serious violation as something presenting a substantial probability of death or serious physical harm resulting from a hazard that the employer knew about or should have known about.
In response to the numerous serious violations that were uncovered, OSHA has placed the facility on its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. This will allow the agency access to any of the company’s facilities at any time to conduct safety inspections.
The Appleton personal injury attorneys with Sigman Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham urge anyone who has been harmed by exposure to hazardous materials while working to discuss your case with an attorney immediately.