COLUMBUS, GA – Six days after opening a complaint inspection at a Columbus auto parts manufacturer in August 2023, federal safety investigators learned that a 41-year-old maintenance technician at the site endured severe injuries from an electrical transformer explosion and opened a second investigation. U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators found that the worker  of Aludyne Columbus LLC – operating as Aludyne Columbus Foundry – was severely injured by an arc flash while attempting to replace a blown fuse on a transformer and was later transported to Piedmont Hospital.Across both inspections, OSHA cited Aludyne Columbus for 22 serious and three other-than-serious violations. Specifically, the agency found the employer: Failed to require employees to don appropriately certified electrical suits while changing out electrical components in a high voltage energized area. Allowed workers to use non-insulated tools within approximately 12 inches of energized power lines in a high voltage energized area.Exposed workers to an airborne concentration of respirable silica of up to 15 times above the permissible time-weighted average. Failed to provide National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-approved respirators to employees exposed to silicosis hazards. Did not provide fit testing to workers required to wear respirators while exposed to crystalline silica.Failed to provide protective equipment such as goggles and gloves to workers handling chemicals. Did not keep an emergency eye wash station free from debris and ready for immediate use.“Aludyne Columbus LLC’s failure to prioritize employee safety and health nearly cost a worker their life and allowed employees to be overexposed to silica well above the permissible exposure limit,” said OSHA Atlanta-West Area Office Director Jeffery Stawowy. “This employer must take worker safety seriously by assessing hazards and taking responsibility for protecting their workers.”OSHA has proposed $182,344 in penalties, an amount set by federal statute. Aludyne is a global manufacturer of aluminum, magnesium and iron cast and automotive components. The company has more than 30 facilities in North America, South America, Europe and China. Aludyne Columbus LLC has contested the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.Visit OSHA’s website for information on developing a workplace safety and health program. Employers can also contact the agency for information about OSHA’s compliance assistance resources and for free help on complying with OSHA standards. 

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