Following an inspection of an Ohio steel mill, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed fines of $170,500 for Timken Co. for a number of alleged safety violations. OSHA accuses the roller bearing manufacturer of willfully ignoring health and safety regulations, resulting in 17 safety violations. Five of these are allegedly repeat violations for failing to guard certain parts of dangerous machinery, leaving openings in electrical boxes exposed and failing to erect railings on a number of elevated platforms.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 require employers to ensure their employees are safe and healthy in their workplaces. Companies that fail to do so put their employees are risk for sickness, injury and even death. Individuals who are injured while performing their job are often entitled to Workers' Compensation benefits. Ohio residents interested in applying for such benefits or those who have been denied benefits should contact an attorney to learn more.
Since 2007, Timken Co. has been investigated by the OSHA on 16 occasions and been cited 27 times. It was cited for seven serious safety violations after the most recent inspection, with OSHA officials alleging that the company failed to keep floors, did not provide an emergency eye-washing station and failed to train employees in the safe use of portable fire extinguishers. OSHA cites an employer for a serious violation if the employer fails to act on knowledge regarding a hazard that creates a significant chance of serious injury or death for workers.
The Ohio based Timken Co., which manufacturers steel bars and tubes, transmissions, gear boxes and other similar components in addition to bearings, employs about 300 workers at the facility targeted by the investigation. The company has 15 business days to request a meeting with an OSHA director, comply with the citations or contest the violations with an independent review body.
Source: United States Department of Labor, "OSHA Regional News Release," Dec. 13, 2012