Foundry Cited for ‘Serious’ and ‘Willful’ Violations

State labor officials are recommending $196,000 in fines against New River Castings Co. in Radford in the wake of a June accident that left a worker crushed and critically injured.

The state Department of Labor and Industry completed its investigation of the accident last month and issued its proposed penalties Dec. 9 with two citations for five alleged safety violations at the plant.

New River Castings and its sister plant next door, Radford Foundry, employ 1,065 people, making their parent company, Intermet Corp., one of the New River Valley’s largest employers.

On June 14, foundry worker David Gravely was pinned inside a 900-pound press after lightning caused a power outage while he was cleaning sand out of air vents in the machine. Because the press lacked a device to keep it open without power, the top portion shut on top of him.

The 29-year-old Dublin man suffered a concussion, broken ribs, punctured lungs and a crushed spine. He awoke nine days later with two 10-inch rods in his back and little feeling in his left leg.