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OSHA cites foundry, finishing services firm

Keywords: Tags  Occupational Safety and Heath Administration, OSHA< safety violations, iron foundry, Grede, Mike Mikelonis, Lapmaster Precision Finishing Services, Kelly Cavitt, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries LLC and Lapmaster Precision Finishing Services LLC for alleged safety violations.

Grede, part of Grede Holdings LLC in Southfield, Mich., was cited for nine alleged violations, including operating a grinder with a missing guard, failing to cover an electrical junction box and failing to take certain preventative measures against falls, at its Berlin, Wis., iron foundry. OSHA proposed $56,320 in penalties following an inspection in May.

Grede’s Berlin foundry employs 3,000 people who make ductile and gray iron castings.

"The vast majority of items have been corrected as recommended by OSHA, and we continue to work with OSHA on the remaining items to provide the best and safest options for our employees," Mike Mikelonis, manager of Grede’s Berlin plant, said in a statement.

OSHA cited Dayton, Ohio-based Lapmaster Precision Finishing Services for 13 alleged safety and health violations, including failing to lock out energy sources prior to servicing machines, failing to require workers to use safety glasses, failing to ensure that workers weren’t exposed to live electrical parts and failing to properly store materials that can cause "struck-by" hazards. and proposed fines totaling $65,500. OSHA inspected the plant in September after it received a complaint alleging hazards.

The Dayton operation, which employs nearly 50 people, is part of Mount Prospect, Ill.-based Lapmaster International LLC. Workers process cast iron, steel and several metal alloys for automotive and other engineered applications.

Lapmaster International acquired the Dayton facility in July and had "no involvement or management control over the performance or condition" of the facility before that, general manager Kelly Cavitt said in a statement. All cited conditions noted during the OSHA inspection "have been actioned or currently have been planned for action," said Cavitt, adding that Lapmaster is investing $1.2 million in new machinery and equipment and facility upgrades.

Each company has until early December to correct the safety hazards, request a meeting with OSHA or contest the agency’s findings.

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