Dec. 13, 2007
Contact: Scott Allen or Brad Mitchell
Federal agency proposes $210,000 in penalties against business
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $210,000 in fines against Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corp. of Steubenville for alleged repeat and serious violations of federal workplace safety standards.
As the result of a recent follow-up to a February 2006 inspection, OSHA has issued Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corp. citations for 12 repeat violations with proposed penalties of $190,000. Among the violations, the agency alleges that the company failed to: provide adequate electrical safety training and work-related safety practices to employees; de-energize electrical equipment for servicing; provide flashback protection of cutting torch equipment; provide proper eyewash facilities; provide adequate standard railings on floors, runways and platforms; and provide proper safety signs or ratings for crane lifting devices.
OSHA also issued citations for seven serious violations with proposed penalties of $20,000, alleging that the company failed: to replace missing railings on staircases; keep emergency exits cleared of obstructions; provide annual audiograms for all employees; provide proper personal protective equipment and training; properly inspect electrical parts for hazards before use; and provide proper insulated tools for working on energized electrical parts.
"OSHA will not tolerate employers who continue to willfully ignore safety hazards that have been brought to their attention. This continued disregard for the welfare of working people is inexcusable," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus, Ohio. "By following appropriate occupational safety and health standards, thousands of injuries, illnesses and fatalities that occur each year in workplaces could be prevented."
OSHA has inspected Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corp.10 times since 2004 ¿ including this follow-up to an inspection after an employee fatality occurred in February 2006.
Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corp. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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 assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. DOL is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.