Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel hit with $210K OSHA penalty

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $210,000 in fines against Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation of Steubenville, Pa., for alleged repeat and serious violations of federal workplace safety standards.

As the result of a recent follow-up to a February 2006 inspection, OSHA has issued Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation citations for 12 repeat violations with proposed penalties of $190,000. Among the violations, the agency alleges that the company failed to: provide adequate electrical safety training and work-related safety practices to employees, de-energize electrical equipment for servicing, provide flashback protection of cutting torch equipment, provide proper eyewash facilities, provide adequate standard railings on floors, runways and platforms, and provide proper safety signs or ratings for crane lifting devices.

OSHA also issued citations for seven serious violations with proposed penalties of $20,000, alleging that the company failed: to replace missing railings on staircases; keep emergency exits cleared of obstructions; provide annual audiograms for all employees; provide proper personal protective equipment and training; properly inspect electrical parts for hazards before use; and provide proper insulated tools for working on energized electrical parts.

"OSHA will not tolerate employers who continue to willfully ignore safety hazards that have been brought to their attention. This continued disregard for the welfare of working people is inexcusable," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in
Columbus, Ohio. "By following appropriate occupational safety and health standards, thousands of injuries, illnesses and fatalities that occur each year in workplaces could be prevented."

OSHA has inspected Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation10 times since 2004 – including this follow-up to an inspection after an employee fatality occurred in February 2006.

Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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