Feds target Toledo steel business for safety violations

TOLEDO — A Toledo-based steel processor has been slapped with $66,330 in proposed penalties by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

According to the labor department, Precision Steel Services Inc. had 11 safety violations, including a repeat violation for failing to remove from service a forklift that was in need of repair.

“OSHA takes all safety and health violations very seriously,” said Kimberly Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo, in a statement. “However, repeat violations, in particular, indicate a lack of commitment to these issues, and OSHA will hold employers responsible to ensure that workers are protected from preventable hazards.”

According to OSHA, 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 in 2009 at the same facility.

Nine serious violations issued to Precision Steel Services include failing to protect workers from falls on elevated workspaces, provide lockout/tagout procedures, properly inspect forklifts, ensure forklift brakes were set when parked, provide electrical safe work training and utilize electrical personal protective equipment.

OSHA explained in their news release that 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.

Precision Steel Services was also cited for failing to mark lockout/tagout devices with an employee identifier, considered an “other-than-serious” violation.

OSHA has inspected Precision Steel Services five times, three of which occured since 2009 and resulted in citations for seven serious violations involving personal protective equipment, forklifts, mechanical equipment in disrepair and a lack of guarding on portable power tools.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its most recent citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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 Toledo Area Office at 419-259-7542.

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