Seven Workers Injured in Wisconsin Foundry Accident
Seven workers were injured on Monday afternoon after an accident at a foundry in Saukville, WI, according to a WISN ABC 12 report. Initially reported as an explosion, investigators now describe the accident as “catastrophic mechanical failure.”
About the Saukville Foundry Accident
- Emergency crews were called to the Johnson Brass and Machine Foundry located on Mill St and Hwy 33 in Saukville, WI around 3:35 p.m. on May 19.
- A plant supervisor told reporters molten metal had spilled on workers.
- Three people were transported to the burn unit at Columbia St. Mary’s hospital, including two who were airlifted. A fourth worker was taken to St. Mary’s emergency room.
- Three other workers were taken to various area hospitals to be treated for unspecified injuries.
Workers described a scene of fire and smoke as employees scrambled in the aftermath of the accident. One worker said he believed two supervisors received the worst of the injuries.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had previously fined the foundry three times in 2011. Two of the violations were related to the servicing and maintenance of machines. The other violation was for improper machine guards which protect workers from rotating parts and sparks.
The Johnson Brass and Machine Foundry employees 110 full-time employees and works with brass, nickel, silver, aluminum, copper, and steel.
Wisconsin Workplace Injury Facts
The following statistics about workplace injuries in Wisconsin are provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- In 2012, there were 114 occupational fatalities.
- Transportation incidents were the most common cause of fatal accidents accounting for about 32.5% of deaths.
- Injury and illness rates were highest in the following industries: Natural Resources and mining, manufacturing, and construction.
- 32% of workplace injuries were to upper extremities such as arms, hands, and fingers.