Timkensteel cited by OSHA following fatal furnace explosion

OSHA, U.S. Dept. of Labor
OSHA, U.S. Dept. of Labor(WCJB)
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 8:20 AM EST
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STARK COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - A Stark County steel plant was cited earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Labor after a worker died as a result of a furnace explosion in July 2022.

The explosion injured three workers in the Faircrest plant in Perry Township, including Joseph Ferrall, who fought for 24 days in the burn unit before passing away from his injuries.

The other two workers survived the blast.

According to a release from the department, OSHA proposed a fine of $145,027 for TimkenSteel’s “willful violation of the agency’s general duty clause.”

In the past five years, OSHA noted citing the company four times for safety and health violations.

In June 2022, TimkenSteel was cited after a worker suffered fatal injuries during an incident in December 2021 at their Gambrinus facility.

“The potential for steam explosions from mixing water and molten metal is a well-known and documented industry hazard. TimkenSteel has experience with the hazard and developed company safety procedures to prevent its dangers, but failed to implement them,” said OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland. “Employers must protect workers from known hazards whether a specific OSHA standard exists or not.”

TimkenSteel is a leading producer of carbon steel, alloy and micro-alloy steel in specialty bars, mechanical tubing and other products used in the automotive, industrial and energy markets.

They employ 1,800 workers.

The company has 15 business days from receiving the citations and penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.