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Let's talk about unsafe metalcasting practices.

Congratulations on your brave article addressing safety in our industry ("Saftey First ... Not So Sure," Sept. 2008). Safety is to the metalcasting industry what Social Security is to presidential candidates: the "third rail."

As someone who has owned and managed metalcasting equipment manufacturing companies, I can tell you that we always run the risk of offending customers by pointing out unsafe practices to the point that they'll drop us as vendors. We have a saying in our offices, "Safety ends at the vice-president's desk."

Unfortunately, Saveway generally is contacted after a molten metal accident. In most cases, the workers and those in direct contact with them love the idea of creating a more safe melting environment. However, once the sting of injury is forgot-" ten, safety gets kicked to the side.

I have no doubt that you'll get deluged with emails on this topic, many of which will be from industry executives extolling their safety policies and slogans. Slogans tend to be like political promises, they make us feel good as an industry. As your commentary points out, we have a dirty secret that's not unlike the current mortgage banking mess. No one wants to own up to it, but its there lurking and will continue to be painful.

You'll also likely hear from others like me, people who've seen more unsafe practices than anyone would confess to. As an industry, this is something we'll face very directly. I hope we address it before it becomes another embarrassment televised on PBS.

In closing, please consider a follow up to your editorial. The industry could use more than just discussion on the topic, and it'd be interesting to see if there's any consensus.

PATRICK LEPER

CEO, SAVEWAY USA CORP.

NORTH CANTON, OH

WEST READING, PA
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Title Annotation:Letterbox
Author:Leper, Patrick
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Oct 1, 2008
Words:294
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