Alabama tungsten carbide plant faces OSHA penalties

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed fines totaling $113,200 for 27 safety and health violations that endangered employees at TDY Industries Inc.'s ATI Alldyne plant in Gurley, Ala.

"The conditions that OSHA found at the Gurley plant are unacceptable because they put the safety of employees at risk from fire hazards and exposure to cobalt dust," said Roberto Sanchez, director of OSHA's Birmingham Area Office. "We already had warned management about the dangers of cobalt dust at the company's Huntsville, Ala., facility. Unfortunately, they chose not to make the needed corrections."

OSHA inspectors found that the company, which produces tungsten carbide products, failed to follow the agency's standards when using the flammable solvent heptane in its manufacturing process. Inspectors found 21 serious violations and one other-than-serious safety violation, for a total of $82,350 in proposed penalties.

One repeat health violation, with a penalty of $25,000, was proposed against the company for allowing employees to be exposed to unacceptably high airborne concentrations of cobalt dust. OSHA also cited ATI Alldyne, with proposed penalties totaling $5,850, for three serious violations related to the storage of materials and failure to conduct annual employee audiograms, and one other-than-serious health violation related to bloodborne pathogens.

ATI Alldyne has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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