Workplace Injury At Steel Plant Happens Days After OSHA InvestigationNovember 6, 2015
A worker at an Ohio steel plant suffered a serious workplace injury when a half-ton piece of equipment came loose from an overhead crane and fell on him. The workplace injury happened just days after an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration at a TimkenSteel Corp plant. The director of the Cleveland OSHA office said the injured worker was “lucky to be alive.”
Details of Workplace Injury
The workplace injury occurred on May 4, 2015, when the safety latch on a crane failed to hold more than a thousand pounds of equipment in place. The faulty latch caused the equipment to fall to the factory floor. The worker miraculously avoided sustaining potentially deadly crushing injuries, but suffered a fractured left foot and numerous other broken bones. The serious workplace injury prevented him from returning to work for several months.
Workplace Injury Highlights OSHA Violations
The crane incident that led to the workplace injury occurred less than a week after OSHA inspectors examined another TimkenSteel plant. The inspection reported one other-than-serious violation, eight serious violations and eight repeated violations. An investigation into the workplace injury incident one willful, one repeated and two serious violations of worker safety regulations. The assorted violations included damaged equipment, lack of protective gear, and failure to report injuries and illnesses.
Steel Plant Faces Workplace Injury Fines
The workplace injury involving the falling equipment could lead to serious fines for TimkenSteel. The company faces fines of almost $400,000 for OSHA violations. The parent company, Timken Co., has undergone 27 OSHA inspections in the last ten years. These inspections have yielded 76 violations, including lack of guardrails, electrical hazards, and lack of safety procedures for equipment undergoing maintenance. The workplace injury incident also placed the Timken plants on the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement list.
OSHA Chief: Workplace Injury Site “Unacceptable”
Howard Eberts, the director of the Cleveland OSHA office, told local reporters that he found Timken’s practices at the workplace injury site “unacceptable.” “TimkenSteel’s safety and health program has major deficiencies that need to be addressed immediately,” he said. He also told reporters that, after the agency’s investigation into the workplace injury, his inspectors “observed conditions where workers could have fallen or lost limbs.”
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NOTE: This blog post is a news story and does not constitute and endorsement of the Amaro Law Firm by any parties mentioned herein.