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Ohio Steel Co. Targeted, Fined Heavily by OSHA for Safety Lapses

Republic Engineered Products Inc., headquartered in Canton, Ohio, is well-known by OSHA officials.

And not in a good way. At its Lorain facility alone, inspections have been carried out 25 times since 1990, with agency investigators levying fines and issuing citations more than 75 times.

Those violations relate to a number of safety concerns, including falls, company inattention to injury potential from hazardous equipment and a number of other matters.

Most recently, and just last month, OSHA cited Republic for seven willful and three repeat safety violations for failing to protect company employees from fall hazards and dangerous equipment. The agency fined the company $563,000 for those shortcomings.

As noted, Republic is clearly on OSHA’s radar. “This company has a long history of OSHA violations,” noted OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor, Dr. David Michaels. “It needs to make a serious effort to comply with common-sense regulations to protect its employees.”

The latest inspection at the Lorain location was prompted after a worker there fell nine feet from a transfer car in a mill last November and broke his pelvis. OSHA deemed that injury to be a direct result of Republic’s willful failure to provide guarded platforms that protect against falls.

The company was also cited Republic for failure to implement adequate lockout/tagout procedures that guard against injuries from equipment.

Owing to Republic’s sustained history of violations, OSHA placed it in its Severe Violators Enforcement Program, which promises even closer OSHA scrutiny in the future.

Related Resource: Occupational Health & Safety, “$563,000 in Fines Issued to Ohio Steel Manufacturer for Repeat LOTO Hazards” May 23, 2011