The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Radial International Corp. for alleged safety and health violations, proposing a total of $136,000 in penalties. The Kearny, N.J., company, doing business as Radio Casting Corp., is a brass foundry and aluminum die-casting operation that employs 35 workers.

OSHA initiated its investigation in December 2005 in response to a referral by the Kearny Fire Department concerning open burning in the company's facility. According to Phil Peist, area director of OSHA's Parsippany, N.J., office, the company was cited for three willful violations with a penalty of $90,000; 25 serious violations with a penalty of $45,000; and three other-than-serious violations with a $1,000 penalty.

"These violations have the potential of leading to serious harm to the workers at Radio Casting Corp.," said Peist. "The company must take whatever steps necessary to eliminate these hazards immediately to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for their employees."

Alleged willful violations address the company's failure to provide free and unobstructed access to exits; failure to provide an effective hearing conservation program; and failure to ensure that employees are appropriately protected when working with molten metal.

The alleged serious violations include the company's practice of the open burning of debris within the production area of its facilities; the company's failure to have safe clearance in the aisle way used to transport molten metals; failure to provide easily accessible exit routes; failure to properly guard machinery; and failure to properly protect employees from lead exposure. The company also received three other-than-serious citations for its failure to provide employees with important safety and health information and for failure to maintain proper records.

The agency cites a violation as willful when committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious injury could occur. The company has 15 working days to contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.