Health, environmental violations found at metal plant prior to explosion

Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 6:56 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Multiple fire departments responded to the scene of a building fire and explosion at a metal factory in Northeast Ohio.

It happened around 2:15 p.m. Monday at I Schumann & Co. in the 22500 block of Alexander Road in Oakwood.

19 Investigates looked into the company’s safety and environmental records over the years, and found several past violations.

We searched for complaints made to OSHA.

They’re in charge of safety enforcement in the workplace.

Over the last 20 years, we found three complaints and one referral made to OSHA for I. Schumann & Co.

Two health complaints from 2022 are still open regarding I. Schumann & Co., one from March and one from October.

Since they’re currently under investigation, there aren’t too many details about these cases.

But the company faced a final penalty of about $3,500 in the March case.

We found three citations for that complaint.

OSHA labeled one of them a “serious violation” regarding the control of hazardous energy.

Another complaint dating back to 2019 stemmed from an incident where an employee was hospitalized after suffering third degree burns.

According to OSHA, that March while an employee was getting a sample from a pot of molten metal, it splashed on his coveralls and he didn’t realize his clothing had caught fire.

This employee was not wearing fire resistant clothing.

OSHA found five violations and handed down a penalty of more than $12,000 for that incident.

In July of last year, the Ohio EPA sent the company a notice for 11 environmental violations, including unlawful storage and disposal of hazardous waste.

I. Schumann & Co. responded a month later, showing they made corrections to those violations.

We also found the city of Cleveland sent a letter to I. Schumann & Co. exactly a week ago, noting the company had corrected all nine air quality citations they received back in 2021.