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Region 3 News Release: 11-822-PHI (osha 11-056)
June 6, 2011
Contact: Joanna Hawkins   Leni Uddyback-Fortson
Phone: 215-861-5101   215-861-5102
E-mail: hawkins.joanna@dol.gov   uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA fines AK Steel Corp. $206,000
for willful and other record-keeping violations at Butler, Pa., facility
Company failed to record outcomes indicating hearing hazards for workers

BUTLER, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited AK Steel Corp. for record-keeping violations related to potential hearing hazards at its Butler Works facility in Butler. Proposed penalties total $206,000.

OSHA initiated an inspection on Dec. 3, 2010, in response to a complaint alleging under-recording of injuries from 2007 through 2010. Inspectors cited AK Steel Corp. with four willful violations carrying a penalty of $200,000, and six other-than-serious violations with a penalty of $6,000.

"Accurate injury and illness records are vital to protecting workers' health and safety," said Robert Szymanski, director of OSHA's area office in Pittsburgh, Pa. "They are an important tool that employers and workers can use to identify hazards in the workplace, and they also enable OSHA to better target its resources."

The willful violations address the company's failure, from 2007 to 2010, to record standard threshold shifts on the OSHA 300 Log when employees' hearing tests revealed that they experienced a work-related STS and the employees' total hearing level was 25 decibels or more above audiometric zero. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

The other-than-serious violations are due to the company's failure to properly record other work-related injuries and illnesses occurring in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

The Butler Works facility produces specialty steels and has 1,500 employees. AK Steel Corp., based in West Chester, Ohio, operates facilities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Pittsburgh Area Office; telephone: 412-395-4903.

To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742). 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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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


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