The cost of a hole in the roof
By Dan Cook
Oh, what a timely roofing job would have saved Republic Steel.
An employee clambering across the roof of one of Republic Steel's buildings in Lorain, Ohio, fell through a hole in the roof, sustaining serious injuries.
Out came inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for a follow-up visit. What resulted was a thorough-going inspection not just of the Lorain facility, but of the company's plants in Canton and Massillon, Ohio, and Blasdell, N.Y.
Upshot: A rather quick settlement, by OSHA terms, that included an initial fine of $2.4 million, possible future fines should other terms of the settlement be violated, and a laundry list of steps to be taken by the company. Among them:
Fall prevention procedures
- Tag-out/lockout procedures to protect those who service machinery.
- Machine guarding to protect workers around factory equipment.
- The hiring of additional safety and health staff.
- Setting up safety and health inspections with members of the United Steelworkers of America.
- Establishing a safety and health management program to identify and correct hazardous working conditions.
- Hiring of third-party auditors to evaluate hazards and plans to address them.
- Quarterly meetings with OSHA staff to assure all aspects of the agreement are implemented.
- reviewing and improving plant procedures to ensure OSHA compliance with machine guarding, control of hazardous energy (lockout/tag out), fall protection, personal protective equipment and other critical safety procedures;
- implementing an electronic tracking system for identifying hazards/near misses, injuries and illnesses reported by workers;
- mailing a letter to workers' families detailing the company's commitment to health and safety;
- providing a card to employees informing them of the right to refuse to perform work that they reasonably and in good faith believe is unsafe or unhealthful without fear of being disciplined; and
- providing supplemental training for all production and maintenance employees, including managers.
Originally published on BenefitsPro.com