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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Republic Engineered Products Inc., a steel manufacturing company, two willful and four serious citations for exposing its workers to fall hazards and failing to maintain equipment and walkways at its Canton, Ohio, facility. The company faces penalties totaling $156,000.
"Republic Engineered Products Inc. has repeatedly demonstrated a willful disregard for employees' safety by continually failing to provide fall protection and maintain equipment in its steel plants," said OSHA area director Rob Medlock in Cleveland. "Failing to correct these issues is not acceptable. OSHA is committed to seeing that the workers at this facility are provided a safe and healthy workplace."
As a result of the June inspection by OSHA, the company was issued two willful citations with proposed fines of $140,000 for exposing workers to fall hazards and failing to complete periodic inspections of overhead cranes within the past 12 months. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
Republic Engineered Products Inc. also received four serious citations with proposed penalties of $16,000. Alleged violations include operating cranes with severe cracks in the brake assemblies, failing to provide proper illumination on ladderways and stairways, failure to keep floor areas and walkways clear of debris, and failing to maintain equipment. A serious citation is issued 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 company's Canton location, which employs about 670 people, has been inspected six times and received 31 safety violations since 2005. Republic Engineered Products Inc., which is headquartered in Canton, employs more than 1,000 workers company-wide and operates additional manufacturing facilities in Lorain and Massillon, Ohio, as well as Blasdell, N.Y., Gary, Ind., and Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada. The Lorain operation was cited in November for 13 OSHA violations and fined $143,000.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.