OSHA Issues $1.1 Million in Fines to Republic Steel

Already included in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, the company is facing 24 alleged safety violations, mainly involving fall protection.

OSHA announced it has cited Republic Steel for 24 alleged safety violations and has proposed $1,138,500 in fines. Fifteen are classified as willful violations of OSHA's fall protection standards and involve the company's Canton, Ohio, steel manufacturing plant. The agency said the plant lacked fall protection for workers on runway girders 66 feet above the ground and 20 feet above the electric arc furnace and molten steel ladle, and fall hazards of 30 feet existed because of missing and damaged guardrails.

The inspection that resulted in these actions began in February 2013 following a complaint from the United Steelworkers Union about alleged hazards in the plant's melt shop. "During the inspection, opened in February 2013, OSHA discovered that two workers had been seriously injured in falls at the site in June and August of 2012," according to the agency’s news release.

"People working hard to provide for their families should not have worry each day whether they'll come home," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. "Republic Steel put their workers' lives in danger, and that kind of disregard for safety will not be tolerated."

The company accepted three willful fall hazard violations at its Lorain, Ohio, plant just last year, according to OSHA. "Republic Steel has a long history of OSHA violations and disregard for employee safety and health," said Dr. David Michaels, OSHA's assistant secretary. "It is unacceptable that Republic Steel has not taken more effective steps to improve safety at the Canton plant, particularly in light of a 2012 settlement aimed at exactly that."

Visit http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Republic_Steel_891561_0812_13.PDF to read the new citations. Republic Steel will remain in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

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