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Occupational Health and Safety Committee Casts Safety Standard for Foundry Operations

Metal casting operation safety is the topic of a new activity and a new draft standard in ASTM Committee E34 on Occupational Health and Safety. Interested stakeholders, including people with experience and expertise in the foundry environment and suppliers of foundry equipment, are encouraged to participate.

The draft, Standard Specification for Safety Requirements in Metal Casting Operations – Sand Preparation; Molding and Core Making; Melting and Pouring; and Cleaning and Finishing, combines three former standards from the American National Standards Institute into one document. The documents “have been in use by the foundry industry since 1972 and are still being referred to by foundries and regulatory agencies,” comments Tom Slavin, manager of occupational safety and health for International Truck and Engine Corp. in Warrenville, Ill.

Slavin, chair of Subcommittee E34.20 on Foundry Safety and Health, which is responsible for the standard, says that the American Foundry Society approached ASTM International to bring these documents into its consensus process because a standard is needed by the foundry industry for its specialized equipment and unique hazards. For example, hoist ropes used to carry ladles of molten metal are subject to greater stresses than ropes used to carry cold loads, and the standard addresses these design considerations.

In addition, there is a particular safety concern in the foundry industry about water and moisture, which can be hazardous even in small amounts. When molten metal contacts water or moisture, because of the heat-induced expansion of water from liquid to steam, an explosion can occur. Consequently, the standard covers safe zones, run-out pits and other protection strategies.

For further technical information, contact Tom Slavin, International Truck and Engine Corp., Warrenville, Ill. (phone: 312/836-3929). E34 meets April 18-19 during the April Committee Week in Salt Lake City, Utah, and November 7-8 during the November Committee Week in Washington, D.C. For meeting and membership details, contact Jim Olshefsky, director, committee services, ASTM International (610/832-9737). Information about the activity can be found at www.astm. org by keying WK1007 into the Standards Search field. //

Copyright 2004, ASTM International