Quaker City Castings, Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for nine serious safety and health violations, including lack of a hearing conservation program, unguarded machinery and electrical safety violations. Proposed fines total $45,000 following a July complaint inspection at the Salem iron and steel foundry.

"The absence of adequate protections creates a work environment where workers are vulnerable to injury and illness," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "Employers, such as Quaker City Castings, have a responsibility to evaluate workplaces for existing hazards and protect workers from injuries."

The nine serious violations include failing to implement engineering controls to protect workers exposed to noise levels above 90 decibels; provide annual hearing conservation training; remove damaged, powered industrial vehicles out of service; and use compressed air for proper cleaning. Other violations include not using electrical equipment according to instructions on listing and labeling; allowing workers to be exposed to live electrical wires; using visibly damaged electrical equipment; failing to close electrical boxes; and improperly using flexible electrical cords.

Additionally, the company was cited for violations that expose workers to amputation injuries, including failing to develop machine-specific procedures for controlling hazardous energy during service and maintenance, and lack of machine guarding on various machines, such as grinders, lathes and band saws. 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.

The company was previously inspected in March 2006 and cited for five violations.

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