U.S. Department of Labor Finds Ohio Manufacturing Company Exposing Workers to Amputation and other Hazards

U.S. Department of Labor Finds Ohio Manufacturing Company Exposing Workers to Amputation and other Hazards

Republic Steel in Canton was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

A canton automotive steel mill was found to have not installed adequate machine guarding, implement lockout/tagout measures or train workers on safety procedures, exposing workers to amputation hazards. This was found in response to a complaint of unsafe working conditions where federal safety inspectors then began to investigate.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA cited Republic Steel for one repeat, seven serious and three other than serious safety violations. OSHA determined the company did not train workers to operate cranes and forklifts adequately, failed to repair damaged cranes, follow safe electrical work practices as well as exposed workers to trip and fall hazards. OSHA proposed $220,399 in penalties and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Republic Steel was last cited by OSHA for similar machine safety hazards in 2017.

“To avoid amputations and other severe injuries, employers must install safety guards on machines and train workers on how to control hazardous energy and avoid coming in contact with operating machine parts,” said OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland. “Republic Steel is well aware of their responsibility to ensure safety procedures are followed, yet once again, they’ve failed to do so.”

Based in Canton, Republic Steel manufactures steel bars and other products for use in machinery, cars, trucks and other vehicles. The company, a subsidiary of Grupo Simec of Guadalajara, Mexico, employs more than 2,000 workers. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent OSHRC.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

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