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Ohio steel facility hit with 19 health and safety violations

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration hit a steel products company with charges of repeated health and safety violations at its facility in northeast Ohio. The charges include proposed fines totaling $64,400.

One would hope that the company would consider that a small price to pay now to prevent having to pay out thousands more in workers' compensation claims if any employees were harmed because of the violations.

In total, Brown-Campbell Co. was hit with 19 alleged health and safety violations at the Maple Heights, Ohio, facility. Four of those violations were deemed repeated violations. According to OSHA, a December 2011 inspection found that workers were not given proper protective clothing, welding screens or a lockout program to control hazardous energy. Additionally, OSHA found workers were not provided with hazard communications program training.

The company was faces charges of eight serious safety violations, including workers being at risk of falls. OSHA found that workers have not even been trained on how to use a portable fire extinguisher.

The inspection also found that tanks containing hazardous chemicals were not properly labeled with the right warnings, which could mean workers were at grave risk of injury. OSHA also charged the company with failing to guard tools, such as a metal grating saw.

The company now has 15 days to comply with the charges and pay the fines, request a meeting with OSHA or fight the charges. Even if the company chooses to fight the charges, hopefully it realizes that it's better to provide a safe working environment for its employees.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Michigan-Based Firm Cited for Safety, Health Violations at Ohio Plant," June 6, 2012

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