The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Foundry Society (AFS) have renewed their alliance to further enhance safety and health for employees working in the metal casting industry. The alliance will continue focusing on personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilation and reducing and preventing exposure to silica.

"This renewal means OSHA and AFS will continue to work together to provide AFS members and other metalcasting businesses with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help protect the most valuable asset on any ledger page: employees," said Edwin G. Foulke, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. "We look forward to continuing our alliance and working to benefit workers in the foundry industry."

"Worker health and safety is of paramount importance to our industry. Our employees are the lifeblood of our business," added Al Lucchetti, AFS president and owner of a small foundry. "We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with OSHA to enhance the overall safety and health of workers in the metalcasting industry."

Through the alliance, OSHA and AFS developed a personal protective equipment guide for employers and employees - which is now part of AFS' Safety and Health Manual. In addition, AFS provided input into an OSHA Training Institute course in "Applied Foundry Principals" that was jointly delivered at Ford Motor's casting plant in Cleveland, Ohio, an AFS-member facility, in March 2005. AFS also serves on the editorial board of OSHA's "Control of Hazardous Energy" Safety and Health Topics page.

OSHA and AFS will continue to provide AFS members and others, including small businesses in the metal casting industry, with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help them protect employees' health and safety. They also will provide expertise to develop workplace safety and health curricula on the foundry workplace issues including, PPE, ventilation and silica.

The alliance renewal also calls for both organizations to develop training and education programs to address hazards in the foundry workplace. In addition, AFS and OSHA will share foundry industry best practices with OSHA personnel as well as industry safety and health professionals.

The American Foundry Society is an international organization with approximately 10,000 members in 47 countries. The role of the AFS Environmental, Health and Safety Committee is to assist foundries in meeting their obligation to provide a workplace free of recognized safety and health hazards.