Aug. 7, 2015
Republic Steel exposes workers repeatedly to fall,
chemical and other hazards at Lorain, Ohio, steel mill
With 3 repeated, 8 serious citations, manufacturer faces nearly $163K in proposed fines
LORAIN, Ohio - While Republic Steel has made a significant investment in personnel, training and safety improvements, workers are still exposed to serious fall and chemical hazards at the company's century-old Lorain steel mill, U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors have found.
In a 2014 corporate settlement with OSHA, the company pledged to address earlier health and safety violations.
Republic Steel received three repeated and eight serious safety citations on Aug. 7 after two complaint inspections initiated at the Lorain facility in February and April 2015. The steel-production facility faces proposed penalties of $162,400.
"Republic Steel has made a significant investment in workplace safety and health programs. The company must remain vigilant and protect workers from hazards while it updates equipment, trains workers and instills a culture of safety in its mills," said Kimberly Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "Steel manufacturing is a high-hazard industry. OSHA will continue to monitor worker safety and health at this and other facilities."
OSHA issued three repeat violations cited at Republic Steel facilities in Lorain, Canton and Massillon in 2010 and 2014. These violations included:
- Exposing workers to falls of about 20 feet while removing slag and debris in the billet caster, where molten steel converts to a solid.
- Failing to mark lifting devices with rated weight capacity for loads.
- Improperly labeling a hydrochloric acid dip tank for chemical hazards.
Serious violations involved:
- Exposing workers to molten metal hazards.
- Failing to provide an emergency eyewash station.
- Not requiring workers exposed to hydrochloric acid splash hazards to use protective equipment.
- Violating respiratory protection standards.
View the current citations at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/RepublicSteel_1034570and1058021_0807_15.pdf*
Republic Steel is North America's leading supplier of special bar quality steel, a highly engineered product used in axles, drive trains, suspensions and other critical vehicle components and industrial equipment.
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 Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, 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 Toledo Area Office at 419-259-7542.
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 http://www.osha.gov.
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Release Number: 15-1531-CHI
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