Nucor-Yamato Steel Inc. is facing $56,000 in fines for eight serious safety violations after an employee died after a sling broke and a 14,000-pound bolt struck him at its Blytheville, AR, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Formed in 1987, the Nucor-Yamato Steel Company is a joint venture between Nucor and Yamato Kogyo to operate a steel mill to manufacture wide-flange beams in Blytheville. The company can produce more than 2.5 million tons per year of wide-flange beams, and other steel products. It is one of the world’s largest structural steel mills and employs more than 800 workers. Nucor-Yamato is an affiliate of Nucor Corporation, manufacturers of steel products with operating facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

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OSHA investigators found violations surrounding lifting operations including:
• Missing the cotter pin on the shackle for the sling
• Exposing workers to unprotected open-sided floors at a height greater than 4 feet
• Not inspecting daily all functional operating mechanisms of the overhead crane
• Using a damaged sling for lifting activities
• Allowing workers to work within close proximity of suspended loads
• Loading a sling in excess of its recommended safe working load

“Nucor-Yamato Steel used damaged slings in their daily operations,” said Carlos Reynolds, OSHA’s area director in Little Rock. “Inspecting slings properly and not overloading them can make the difference between keeping workers safe and costing a man his life.”

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