The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on September 5 proposed $123,000 in fines against Madison-Kipp Corp. of Madison, Wis., for alleged willful and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards.

OSHA officials opened two inspections at the aluminum die-casting company's two sites in Madison on March 7 based on OSHA's site-specific targeting program. OSHA authorities then expanded into a third inspection on March 22 to evaluate the company's process safety management program.

The inspections resulted in citations issued to Madison-Kipp Corp. alleging one willful and 17 serious violations of federal workplace safety and health regulations. The alleged willful violation addressed the company's failure to guard a die-cast machine, which resulted in the amputation of one worker's fingers.

Serious citations were issued for alleged workplace health violations, including failure to implement an adequate process hazard analysis, failure to implement a hazardous-waste operation and emergency-response program and to train workers in those requirements, and failure to provide medical evaluations and fit testing for safety equipment. Allegations of serious safety violations included issues involving control of energy sources and standardized lockout devices and machine guarding.

OSHA issues a serious citation 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. Violations are categorized as willful when there is either an intentional disregard, or plain indifference to, employee safety or OSHA regulations.

"When employers shirk their responsibility to keep the workplace free of such hazards, the results can be tragic for workers and their families," said OSHA area director Kimberly Stille.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.