The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited TimkenSteel Corp. for 12 serious safety violations at three plants in Canton, OH, where inspections revealed that employees were exposed to risks of falling and amputation. OSHA noted its inspections in May, July, and September were initiated following employee complaints of unsafe working conditions.

The agency has proposed fines totaling $77,000 against TimkenSteel, the company established last June after a spinoff from the original Timken Co.  It produces steel bars (including forging billets) and seamless mechanical tubing.

TimkenSteel was allowed 15 business days from its receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA classifies violations according to the degree of severity: “other than serious”, “serious,” “willful,” and “repeat” violations. Serious violations, as alleged at TimkenSteel, are those from which death or serious physical harm may result, and which an employer knew or should have known existed.

"TimkenSteel allowed workers to be exposed to fall and amputation hazards at its steel plants, which compromised employee safety in a highly hazardous work environment," stated Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "OSHA hopes to continue to work with corporate safety representatives and the United Steelworkers to address these safety issues proactively and ensure workers are protected on the job."

The agency reported that its inspection in May at TimkenSteel’s Gambrinus Ave. plant in Canton found two serious violations for failure to guard floor holes and for missing guardrails, exposing workers to fall hazards.

In July, seven serious violations were found a TimkenSteel’s Faircrest plant, including failure to guard cranes and crane trolley runways, exposing workers to fall hazards.

In September an inspection at TimkenSteel’s Dueber Ave. plant found three serious violations, in which workers were exposed to moving machinery parts during service and maintenance.