Republic Steel has pledged to change their ways after facing one of the largest fines in recent history for a host of assorted health and safety violations at numerous factories in Ohio. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) $2.4 million fine was enough to inspire a change of heart in the company, which has been a part of OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program since a worker fell through the roof of their Lorraine facility last fall.
“By agreeing to the terms of this settlement, Republic Steel has demonstrated a commitment to change its culture, invest in its employees and work with OSHA and the United Steelworkers to make significant changes at its facilities that will improve the safety and health of its workers,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor. “The Labor Department looks forward to working with Republic Steel to ensure that it lives up to its commitment to improve workplace safety.”
Republic Steel is onboard to change their safety practices in regards to fall protection, lockout procedures and machine guarding. Furthermore, the company will ensure that all facilities have a comprehensive safety and health management program to ensure that safety standards are properly enforced.
“The terms of this agreement to improve conditions and training are unprecedented,” said OSHA’s assistant secretary of labor. “The company has committed to supporting extensive worker participation, an important role for the joint health and safety committee, and implementation of a comprehensive safety and health program to better protect Republic Steel employees.”
I Was Injured In An Industrial Accident And Need Compensation, Who Can I Call?
If more companies did not wait until they lost an employee to a workplace accident to change their attitudes towards employee health and safety, they would likely face less burdensome fines. If you have been injured on the job, and your employer has not changed their safety practices, consider speaking out against your employer. Before you do so, be sure to consult with an experienced workers compensation attorney who can inform you of your rights under the whistleblower protection clause of the OSH Act.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC
—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys