Maintenance Worker Injured in Fall at TimkenSteel Plant

Noria news wires

A 39-year-old worker suffered multiple broken bones after he fell more than 40 feet while conducting maintenance on a crane at TimkenSteel's Faircrest Plant in Canton, Ohio. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found the company failed to provide the worker adequate fall protection. The Aug. 7, 2015, injury was the second life-threatening injury at a TimkenSteel plant since May 2015.

OSHA cited the steel manufacturer for two repeated and three serious safety violations. TimkenSteel faces $129,500 in fines as a result of OSHA's investigation. Investigators found crane maintenance workers were exposed to falls due to lack of guardrails and protective equipment. They also found workers were not protected from operating parts of cranes during service and maintenance because locking devices, guards and other safety procedures were not used and equipment was not powered down properly.

"TimkenSteel needs to fix their safety program immediately," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director. "OSHA will monitor these plants until the company makes protecting workers a priority. No worker should die or suffer life-altering workplace injuries because their employer fails in its responsibility to protect their employees."

In May 2015, another TimkenSteel worker was severely injured when a crane's safety latch failed and 1,000 pounds of equipment fell on him at its Gambrinus plant. In October 2015, OSHA placed TimkenSteel in the agency's Severe Violator Enforcement Program after investigations at the Harrison and Gambrinus plants found several violations resulting in proposed fines of $393,500. The company has contested those violations.

TimkenSteel was spun off from the Timken Company in 2014. Prior to this inspection, the three plants and corporate offices now operated by TimkenSteel had been inspected by OSHA 29 times since 2005, resulting in the issuance of 76 violations. The manufacturer of large steel bars and seamless mechanical tubing was most recently cited by OSHA in November 2014.

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.

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