$563,000 in Fines Issued to Ohio Steel Manufacturer for Repeat LOTO Hazards

OSHA began the inspection of the Lorain facility in November 2010 after a worker was hospitalized with a broken pelvis when he fell 9 feet from a coil transfer car in the bar mill.

OSHA has cited steel manufacturer Republic Engineered Products Inc. in Lorain, Ohio, for seven willful and three repeat safety violations, with proposed penalties totaling $563,000, for failing to protect workers from fall hazards and implement adequate energy source lockout/tagout procedures to prevent injury from hazardous equipment. The company also has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violators Enforcement Program, which focuses enforcement resources on employers that have demonstrated indifference to their Occupational Safety and Health Act obligations by committing willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations.

"There is no excuse for Republic Engineered Products to continue to neglect its workers' safety," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "This company has a long history of OSHA violations, including employee injuries and fatalities in several of its plants. It needs to make a serious effort to comply with common-sense regulations to protect its employees."

OSHA began the inspection of the Lorain facility in November 2010 after a worker was hospitalized with a broken pelvis when he fell 9 feet from a coil transfer car in the bar mill. The willful violations carried proposed penalties of $480,500 for exposing employees to falls from the car and an unguarded platform, and for failing to affix lockout/tagout devices to control the unexpected energizing of equipment.

The repeat violations with proposed fines of $82,500 were cited for failing to train employees in lockout/tagout procedures; specify the procedural steps necessary to lock out electrical, hydraulic and gravitational energy sources for the coil transfer car; and isolate all hazardous energy sources. The company was cited in 2008 at both the Lorain facility and its Blasdell, N.Y., facility for failing to develop and adequately train workers on lockout/tagout procedures. Failure to operate energy isolation devices properly also was cited in Blasdell in 2008.

The company's Lorain location, which employs approximately 250 people, also was cited in another incident by OSHA in 2010 for 13 violations and fined $143,000. The Lorain facility has been inspected 25 times since 1990, resulting in 76 violations in addition to those currently being cited.

Republic Engineered Products Inc., which is headquartered in Canton, Ohio, employs more than 2,200 workers companywide and operates additional manufacturing facilities in Canton and Massillon, Ohio, as well as in Blasdell, N.Y.; Gary, Ind.; and Hamilton, Ontario. Excluding the Lorain location, the company's combined sites have been inspected 53 times since 1990, resulting in a total of 124 violations.

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