OH Steel Mill a Safety Risk
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 @ 04:08 PM gHale
While Republic Steel has made a significant investment in personnel, training and safety improvements, workers remain exposed to serious fall and chemical hazards at the company’s century-old Lorain, OH, steel mill, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
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 Aug. 7 after two complaint inspections initiated at the Lorain facility in February and April 2015. The steel-production facility faces fines 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
Republic Steel is a North American supplier of special bar quality steel, a highly engineered product used in axles, drive trains, suspensions and other critical vehicle components and industrial equipment.