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OSHA Alleges Safety Violations at Wyman-Gordon

March 22, 2009
Feds propose fines over $100,000 for hazards at Mass. plant
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Wyman-Gordon Co. for 29 alleged serious safety violations at its forging plant in Grafton, MA. If the allegations are proven, Wyman-Gordon faces fines totaling $109,500. Wyman-Gordon is a division of Precision Castparts Corp. According to OSHA, serious citations are issued when inspectors determine that the employer knew, or should have known, about unsafe plant conditions that are likely to result in death or serious physical harm. The violations at the Grafton plant were discovered during two OSHA inspections between September 2008 and March 2009. The first inspection was conducted under OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting program. Inspectors identified damaged support structures for overhead cranes; damaged support frames for large metal dies; slipping and tripping hazards; unguarded floors and platforms; missing access stairs; a damaged access ladder; non-functioning emergency exit lights; an overloaded fork truck; an overloaded lifting attachment; defective wire rope slings; unguarded machinery; improper storage of compressed gas cylinders, and several electrical safety deficiencies. The second inspection followed an accident on December 23, 2008. Two Wyman-Gordon workers were injured by a 700-lb forging that “shot up in the air” as they worked to free it from a malfunctioning die in a press. OSHA cited Wyman-Gordon for not developing procedures to prevent the build-up and release of hazardous energy generated by the press. "Each of these conditions must be addressed promptly, completely and effectively to prevent future accidents and injuries, and help ensure the safety and health of the plant's employees," OSHA area director Mary Hoye stated. According to OSHA, Wyman-Gordon has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.