COL-Pump Reviews OSHA Citations
COLUMBIANA, Ohio – Col-Pump Company Inc. is reviewing citations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration “and will respond to them constructively,” an attorney representing the company says.
COL-Pump's foundry at 131 E. Railroad St. here produces metal castings; the company is more than 100 years old, according to its website.
OSHA cited Col-Pump with 10 health and safety violations, the agency announced. Proposed fines total $56,880 for the citations, which include failing to monitor workers’ exposure to noise hazards above 85 decibels at the Columbiana foundry. The company produces metal castings.
“The company endeavors to maintain a safe workplace,” attorney Ted Roberts said in an email in response to the citations.
According to a news release, OSHA initiated an inspection Sept. 14, following a complaint that alleged the lack of an effective hearing protection program. The two willful violations involved failing to establish a baseline audiogram within six months of an employee's first exposure to noise above the action level of 85 decibels and to provide annual audiograms to workers exposed to noise levels at or above allowable levels. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
“Failing to reduce noise exposure and ensure that a worker’s hearing proficiency is documented and monitored demonstrates a lack of concern for the safety and health of workers,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so.”
One repeat violation was issued for failing to implement administrative and engineering controls to lower exposure to noise in the grinding area of the facility. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years, the OSHA statement said. A similar violation was cited at the facility in 2009.
Two serious violations involved failing to maintain ladders in a safe condition and ensure machine guarding was affixed to a sand mixer system. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known, OSHA said.
Prior to the Sept. 14 inspection, OSHA had inspected the company eight times, most recently in 2009 when seven citations were issued.
Col-Pump has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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