The result of a recent OSHA investigation has a Wisconsin foundry in hot water and on the receiving end of more than $234,000 in fines after two employees suffered amputation injuries within an 11-day window.
The amputations happened in the mill room at Waupaca Foundry in Marinette, Wisconsin, in April and May of this year. The first incident occurred on April 27, when a 29-year-old employee suffered a fingertip amputation when their hand was dragged into a pinch point between a chain link conveyor belt and a discharge chute while trying to remove jammed parts. On May 8, a 20-year-old worker who was only on the job for about six months also suffered a fingertip amputation after becoming caught between a part and a stand grinding wheel.
The workers were using the grinders to trim parts during the casting process and moving them through the process via conveyors.
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For both accidents, OSHA found that the foundry lacked proper machine guarding and energy control procedures that could have prevented workers from coming in contact with moving machine parts.
Waupaca Foundry had been previously cited for similar problems in 2019 and 2021. This time, the company was cited for two repeat and six serious violations.
OSHA inspectors say the foundry failed to verify and test its energy control procedures periodically and train workers on using these procedures during machine servicing and maintenance. Waupaca Foundry was also fined for having damaged guardrails that exposed workers to fall hazards and for several violations of safe electrical work practices, including using flexible cords instead of permanent wiring and failing to inspect cords before using them.