CANTON: Timken Co. says its Canton steel plant has “a favorable safety record” and the company is working quickly to correct issues.
The company’s statement came in response to a Thursday news release from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleging problems in the plant.
The federal government said it was seeking to fine Timken $170,500 for 12 safety violations it said it found in a June inspection at the company’s Canton roller bearings plant on Gambrinus Avenue, where 300 people work.
Government documents did not note any instances where employees were injured.
OSHA said there were five repeat safety violations, including failing to machine guard “ingoing nip points, points of operation and rotating parts.”
The company also failed to provide guard rails on elevated platforms and did not make sure that unused electrical boxes were closed, OSHA said.
Repeat violations occur when an employer has previously been cited for similar or same violations at the same or other facilities within the past five years. OSHA said it found similar violations at the Harrison and Gambrinus plants in Canton dating to 2007.
OSHA said it found seven serious violations that included failing to reduce the pressure for compressed air used in cleaning to 30 pounds per square inch or less; failing to clean oily wood floors; failing to conduct annual training regarding portable fire extinguishers; failure to ensure workers had “personal lockout devices” to prevent the unintentional release of hazardous energy, and failure to adjust machine guarding.
Timken has 15 days from receipt of the citations to comply, or request an informal conference, or to contest the citations and penalties, OSHA said.
Timken’s full statement in response said:
“An Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection last June of The Timken Co.’s Gambrinus Roller Plant identified several issues. OSHA identified some of these as ‘repeat’ issues because, while none had previously occurred at Gambrinus, they had at other Timken facilities.
“The Gambrinus plant has a favorable safety record. In 2012 so far, the plant’s Lost Time Incident rate has been less than one incident per 200,000 hours worked, while its OSHA Reportable Injury Rate has been less than five per 200,000 hours worked.
“Timken remains deeply committed to ensuring the health and safety of its 21,000 associates and we’ve acted quickly to respond to the OSHA report:
• “The plant is quickly correcting these issues.
• “The Timken safety team is scheduled to meet with OSHA representatives later this month to continue discussions.
• “Members of the Timken safety team at the plant will complete additional training to help them identify potential safety issues even more quickly so they can ensure action is taken.”