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Republic Steel reaches safety accord with OSHA

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Canton-based Republic Steel has agreed to settle outstanding training and safety issues discovered in the aftermath of a worker’s fall in 2010.

OSHA inspected the company’s Lorain plant after a man broke his pelvis following a 9-foot fall. The inspection revealed seven willful and three repeat safety violations for the company’s failure to protect workers from fall hazards and implement adequate procedures for ensuring that hazardous machinery couldn’t accidentally be activated while employees were maintaining it.

The company agreed to hire several full-time health and safety managers, and improve safety training for workers at its steel mills in Lorain, Massillon and Blasdel, N.Y.

The new safety and health managers will have the authority to suspend work until a safety or health issue has been abated without having to refer the matter to mill managers or other supervisors. Each safety and health manager will make bimonthly, random safety inspection of their mills, as well as quarterly inspections at another one of the company’s mills.

The settlement also calls for a joint union/management safety committee, which will meet monthly to audit inspections and develop best safety practices. Republic Steel has agreed to pay for all the new positions and training listed in the agreement.

Republic Steel will pay $235,000 in fines associated with the 2010 incident and the subsequent inspection.

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