Steel Mill Safety Violations

Monday, December 17, 2012 @ 05:12 PM gHale

Timken Co. is facing $170,500 in fines for 12 safety violations, including five repeat, after conducting a complaint inspection in June at the steel mill in Canton which manufactures roller bearings, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“Timken Co. has a responsibility to recognize safety hazards in its facility and to train workers in emergency response,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “When employers knowingly ignore safety and health requirements, they are unduly placing their workers at risk for illnesses and injuries, and that is unacceptable.”

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Five repeat safety violations involve failing to machine guard ingoing nip points, points of operation and rotating parts.

Additionally, the company lacked guardrails on elevated platforms and failed to ensure they closed electrical boxes with unused openings. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously faced the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. There similar violations at other Timken Co. facilities in Canton, including the Harrison steel plant in 2007 and 2011, and the Gambrinus roller bearing plant in 2007 and 2009.

Seven serious safety violations involve failing to reduce compressed air for cleaning to 30 pounds per square inch or below; maintain floors in dry condition; conduct annual training for workers designated to use portable fire extinguishers; provide an emergency eyewashing station; ensure each authorized worker affixed a personal lockout device to a group lock box to prevent the unintentional release of hazardous energy; and properly adjust machine guarding. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The Canton, OH-based company engineers, manufactures and markets mechanical components and high-performance steel, such as bearings, engineered steel bars and tubes, and transmissions and gearboxes. About 300 workers work at the Canton facility; corporate-wide the company operates in 30 countries and employs about 21,000 workers.

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