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Machine safety hazards, silica overexposure found at Ohio steel plant

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A cast steel freight components manufacturer is facing $610,034 in proposed penalties after investigators found workers at its Groveport, Ohio, plant were exposed to machine hazards and silica.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that one worker was hospitalized after suffering severe injuries when he was caught in a machine, and at least four workers were exposed to excessive levels of silica at Groveport, Ohio-based Amsted Rail Company Inc., the agency said Wednesday in a statement.

In January, a 60-year-old maintenance worker's leg was crushed after he was caught in a core baker machine while conducting maintenance. OSHA's investigation found multiple instances of machine safety violations including failing to lock out machinery to prevent movement during servicing. A subsequent OSHA investigation “found workers exposed to silica at amounts over the permissible exposure limit. Investigators documented four incidents of silica overexposure in the facility,” the agency said in the statement.

Amsted Rail was cited for six repeat, 19 serious and five other-than-serious safety and health violations during the two inspections.

Amsted Rail declined to comment.