Ohio-based Raw Steel Producer Faces $210,000 in Penalties

OSHA has proposed $210,000 in fines against Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. of Steubenville, Ohio, for alleged repeat and serious violations of federal workplace safety standards. As the result of a recent follow-up to a February 2006 inspection, OSHA issued the company citations for 12 repeat violations with proposed penalties of $190,000 and seven serious violations amounting to $20,000.

Among the repeat violations, OSHA says the company failed to: provide adequate electrical safety training and work-related safety practices to employees; de-energize electrical equipment for servicing; provide flashback protection of cutting torch equipment; provide proper eyewash facilities; provide adequate standard railings on floors, runways and platforms; and provide proper safety signs or ratings for crane lifting devices.

Included in the alleged serious violations are the company's failure to replace missing railings on staircases; keep emergency exits cleared of obstructions; provide annual audiograms for all employees; provide proper personal protective equipment and training; properly inspect electrical parts for hazards before use; and provide proper insulated tools for working on energized electrical parts.

"OSHA will not tolerate employers who continue to willfully ignore safety hazards that have been brought to their attention. This continued disregard for the welfare of working people is inexcusable," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus, Ohio. "By following appropriate occupational safety and health standards, thousands of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities that occur each year in workplaces could be prevented."

OSHA has inspected Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp.10 times since 2004--including this follow-up to an inspection after an employee fatality occurred in February 2006.

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