OSHA says, company exposed worker to 8 hours of noise as loud as a jackhammer

WESTON, OHThe U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has charged that MCM Precision Castings, Inc., exposed an employee to noise levels averaging 97 dB, equivalent to the noise of a jackhammer, over his eight-hour shift.

According to an OSHA news release issued on January 17, an inspection of the company’s foundry in Weston, OH, resulted in 18 charges of health and safety violations being brought against the company for failing to conduct noise testing or to provide protective equipment and for not monitoring worker exposure to noise.

Under OSHA rules, maximum permissible exposure to noise is 90 dBA for an 8-hour day. When the noise level is increased by 5 dBA, the maximum time a worker can be exposed to that level is cut in half.

During its inspections, which started on July 17, 2014, the federal agency said that it also found that MCM employees were exposed to dangerously high levels of crystalline silica dust, which can result in silicosis and lung cancer. The company faces proposed penalties of $76,200.

MCM Precision Castings has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, to request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or to contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

A company officer told this blog on January 19 that MCM was in the process of deciding how to respond to OSHA.

 

“WILLFUL” AND “SERIOUS” VIOLATIONS

The charges against MCM Precision Castings include one “willful violation” for failing to provide audiometric testing for employees. A violation is considered to be “willful” when it is “committed with intentional, knowing, or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.”

OSHA also accused the company of 17 “serious” health and safety violations. According to agency’s regulations, 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.

Founded in 1991, MCM Precision Castings forges custom sand, ceramic and metal castings for the automotive, railroad, food service, and many other industries. The company, which recently installed a solar energy system, states that it places “great importance on environmental awareness.”