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While Republic Steel has made a significant investment in personnel, training and safety improvements, workers remain exposed to serious fall and chemical hazards at the company’s century-old Lorain, OH, steel mill, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

In a 2014 corporate settlement with OSHA, the company pledged to address earlier health and safety violations.

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Republic Steel received three repeated and eight serious safety citations Aug. 7 after two complaint inspections initiated at the Lorain facility in February and April 2015. The steel-production facility faces fines of $162,400.

“Republic Steel has made a significant investment in workplace safety and health programs. The company must remain vigilant and protect workers from hazards while it updates equipment, trains workers and instills a culture of safety in its mills,” said Kimberly Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo. “Steel manufacturing is a high-hazard industry. OSHA will continue to monitor worker safety and health at this and other facilities.”

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OSHA issued three repeat violations cited at Republic Steel facilities in Lorain, Canton and Massillon in 2010 and 2014. These violations included:
• Exposing workers to falls of about 20 feet while removing slag and debris in the billet caster, where molten steel converts to a solid
• Failing to mark lifting devices with rated weight capacity for loads
• Improperly labeling a hydrochloric acid dip tank for chemical hazards

Serious violations involved:
• Exposing workers to molten metal hazards
• Failing to provide an emergency eyewash station
• Not requiring workers exposed to hydrochloric acid splash hazards to use protective equipment
• Violating respiratory protection standards

Republic Steel is a North American supplier of special bar quality steel, a highly engineered product used in axles, drive trains, suspensions and other critical vehicle components and industrial equipment.

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