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Republic agrees to $235,000 OSHA settlement

Keywords: Tags  Republic Steel, OSHA, worker injury, safety programs, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — Republic Steel Inc. has reached a settlement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), resolving citations issued in May 2011 for alleged violations at the company’s Lorain, Ohio, plant..

Republic agreed to pay $235,000 in fines; hire full-time health and safety managers, who will have the authority to suspend work until a safety or health issue has been resolved without having to refer the matter to the mill’s manager or other supervisors; and improve safety training for workers at its steel mills in Lorain, Canton and Massillon, Ohio, and in Blasdell, N.Y.

The settlement comes nearly a year after OSHA cited seven alleged "willful" and three repeat safety violations at the Lorain facility. OSHA began its inspections in November 2010, after a worker fell nine feet from a coil transfer car in the bar mill and shattered his pelvis.

Republic confirmed the fine and settlement terms and said it is cooperating with both OSHA and the USW to improve existing safety programs and to introduce new ones.

"Republic Steel had taken on a number of health and safety initiatives dating back to late 2010, and we will continue to build on those efforts with the support of OSHA and the union," the company said.

The Lorain mill, which employs about 250 people, has been inspected 25 times since 1990 and cited for a total of 86 violations, according to OSHA.

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