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Region 5 News Release: 12-978-CHI
June 5, 2012
Contact: Scott Allen Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6976


US Labor Department's OSHA cites Brown-Campbell Co.
for 19 safety and health violations at Ohio plant

MAPLE HEIGHTS, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Brown-Campbell Co. for 19 alleged safety and health violations, including four repeat infractions, following a Dec. 5, 2011, inspection that was initiated based on a complaint. Inspectors found workers were not provided protective clothing and that several machines lacked guarding at the specialty steel products company. Proposed fines total $64,400.

"Brown-Campbell has a responsibility to protect the health of its employees by providing and ensuring workers wear protective clothing and to provide training on known hazards in the workplace," said Howard Eberts, director of OSHA's Cleveland Area Office. "Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health."

Three repeat safety violations involve failing to provide welding screens, protective clothing for employees exposed to metal sparks, and establish a lockout/tagout program to control the use of hazardous energy. A repeat health violation was issued for failing to provide employees hazard communication program training. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in 2011 at the Chicago facility.

Additionally, eight serious safety violations include failing to protect workers from falls around open-sided floors; have properly trapped overflow piping for dip tanks; have electrically bonded portable containers when transferring liquid to the dip tanks; train employees on the use of portable fire extinguishers; and have a properly rated electrical disconnect box. Additionally, violations for failing to adequately guard a shear, metal grating saw and bench grinder were issued.

Three serious health violations were issued for failing to institute a hearing conservation program and to label dip tanks with the name of hazardous chemicals and with the appropriate hazard warnings. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Brown-Campbell was also cited for three other-than-serious safety violations for failing to identify the load limit of an overhead storage area, adequately separate oxygen cylinders from combustible materials and close an unused opening in an electrical box. One other-than-serious health violation was cited for failing to provide respiratory protection training to workers using dust masks. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

Brown-Campbell is based in Detroit and has additional warehouses in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Memphis, Minneapolis and South Carolina. Sales offices are in California, Chicago, North Carolina and Philadelphia.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its current citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Cleveland office at 216-615-4266.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.