Columbus Steel Castings Company has received citations for two repeat and 59 serious violations of federal workplace safety and health standards, resulting in a $257,500 penalty proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency announced September 12.

OSHA personnel opened an investigation at the Columbus, Ohio, steel casting and manufacturing facility in March based on injury and illness data reported by the business and following receipt of complaints and two accidents earlier this year. As a result, OSHA found that Columbus Steel Castings Co. had failed to correct hazards involving missing or inadequate standard guardrails and inadequate guarding of vertical belts that posed a risk to workers. In each case, OSHA issued repeat violations based on an October 2003 investigation that found the same or similar hazards, which were cited and certified as corrected by the company.

The 59 serious citations issued by OSHA covered a variety of hazards including confined spaces; lockout/tagout issues; problems with overhead cranes and forklifts; electrical hazards; inadequate machine guarding; and the improper storage of oxygen and fuel gas cylinders.

"Strong enforcement is a key part of OSHA's effort to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "It should be clear that we will not tolerate indifference to the welfare and safety of working men and women."

The facility has been inspected four times since 2003, including a fatality investigation that year. The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.