Editor's note: The following information is from a news release from the U.S. Department of Labor.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Timken Co. for 12 alleged safety violations, including five repeat violations. The citation followed a complaint inspection in June at the steel mill in Canton which manufactures roller bearings and employs those in North Canton and the surrounding area.
Proposed penalties total $170,500.
“Timken Co. has a responsibility to recognize safety hazards in its facility and to train workers in emergency response,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “When employers knowingly ignore safety and health requirements, they are unduly placing their workers at risk for illnesses and injuries, and that is unacceptable.”
Five repeat safety violations involve failing to machine guard ingoing nip points, points of operation and rotating parts. Additionally, the company lacked guardrails on elevated platforms and failed to ensure electrical boxes with unused openings were closed. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited at other Timken Co. facilities in Canton, including the Harrison steel plant in 2007 and 2011, and the Gambrinus roller bearing plant in 2007 and 2009.
Seven serious safety violations involve failing to reduce compressed air for cleaning to 30 pounds per square inch or below; maintain floors in dry condition; conduct annual training for workers designated to use portable fire extinguishers; provide an emergency eyewashing station; ensure each authorized worker affixed a personal lockout device to a group lock box to prevent the unintentional release of hazardous energy; and properly adjust machine guarding. A serious violation occurs 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.
In total, Timken Co. has been cited by OSHA for 27 violations as the result of 16 previous inspections conducted since 2007. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The Canton, Ohio-based company engineers, manufactures and markets mechanical components and high-performance steel, such as bearings, engineered steel bars and tubes, and transmissions and gearboxes. About 300 workers are employed at the Canton facility; corporate-wide the company operates in 30 countries and employs about 21,000 workers.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Cleveland Area Office at 216-615-4266.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.