EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
APPEALS BOARD


Summary of United States Pipe and Foundry Company - DAR

Employer operates a foundry that manufactures iron and steel products. Employees installed a new and specially designed 650 lb. “charging tube” in a 30 ft. tall cupola (a vertical cylindrical furnace for melting iron). The charging tube is designed to blow air through the cupola when the top doors are closed. For installation, the cupola doors were disconnected from pneumatic arms and held open by large pins inserted through holes in metal plates welded to the door and frame. A pin fell out of one of the plates allowing one of the doors to fall on an employee who suffered serious eye injuries. The Board affirmed the citation for a serious violation of section 3314(a) [de-energizing and blocking of machinery or equipment capable of movement during servicing operations] finding that the installation of the charging tube constituted a “servicing” operation. In view of previous Board decisions and the remedial purposes of the Act requiring liberal construction to its provisions, the Board rejected various narrow interpretations of the regulation offered by Employer, including the view that the regulation only applies to minor routine work to keep a machine or piece of equipment running.


UNITED STATES PIPE AND FOUNDRY COMPANY 98-1130

June 29, 2001