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Ohio foundry fined by OSHA for noise exposure violations

Hazardous working conditions can be present in many workplace environments. Industrial plants, in particular, need to be monitored to ensure that proper precautions are in place to protect workers from suffering workplace injuries. Recently, an Ohio foundry was issued a number of citations following an Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection, which was prompted by a complaint regarding over-exposure to noise above 85 decibels.

COL-Pump Co. Inc., located in Columbiana, is now facing fines of approximately $56,880.00 for numerous safety violations. Two of the violations were labeled "willful" because the company, possibly in an effort to cut costs, knowingly failed to ensure that its workers were provided with a baseline hearing test after being exposed to over 85 decibels of noise. In addition, company management apparently failed to provide yearly audiograms for its workers who were exposed to excessive noise levels. The company also received a citation for failing to implement measures to ensure that the noise levels in the grinding area of the foundry were kept to a minimum.

OSHA also issued the company two additional "serious" citations. These were for failing to maintain ladders in a safe condition and for failing to maintain a proper guard on the sanding machinery.

Fortunately, the Ohio workers' compensation system is available to protect any worker who suffers an injury such as hearing loss as a direct result of over-exposure to noise while working. In fact, anyone who is injured while working in Ohio, regardless of fault, is entitled to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. An injured worker is entitled to receive medical benefits and treatment for any injuries suffered, in addition to workers' compensation benefits while they are unable to work. Further benefits may also be available to those who have suffered a permanent disability as a result of a work related injury.

Source: ISHN, "Ohio foundry workers exposed to noise hazards," Jan. 16, 2013

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