Load Falls from Crane, Hurts Worker

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 @ 04:11 PM gHale

A crane’s safety latch failed and 1,000 pounds of equipment fell on a man below and injured him as he worked on the factory floor of TimkenSteel Corp.

For the second time in a year, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials found struck-by, fall and amputation hazards at the company’s two Canton, OH, plants following inspections. TimkenSteel, which is facing fines of $393,500, is a manufacturer of large steel bars and seamless mechanical tubing.

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OSHA issued TimkenSteel’s Gambrinus plant one willful, one repeated and two serious safety citations on Oct. 30 as a result of its investigation into the May 4 incident. The seven-year employee could not work for several months after the incident in which he fractured his left foot and broke several bones.

The injury occurred days after OSHA initiated an inspection at the company’s Harrison steel plant under the Primary Metals Emphasis Program. The agency issued eight repeated, eight serious and one other-than serious violation at the site.

TimkenSteel ended up established in 2014 as an independent subsidiary of the Timken Co. Its Harrison steel plant melts, rolls, produces and finishes steel, and its Gambrinus plant performs cold steel finishing.

TimkenSteel faces proposed fines of $393,500 for violations at the facilities and is now in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“This worker is lucky to be alive,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “We also observed conditions where workers could have fallen or lost limbs. It is unacceptable that the company has repeatedly been cited for these same hazards. TimkenSteel’s safety and health program has major deficiencies that need to be addressed immediately.”

Investigators found workers suffered exposure to:
• Falls due to lack of guardrails, slippery surfaces and protective equipment
• Live machinery operating parts during service and maintenance because locking devices, guards and other safety procedures did not end up used
• Damaged equipment
• Electrical hazards

OSHA also found the company did not report injuries and illness, as required.