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Region 5 News Release: 10-1364-CHI
Oct. 5, 2010
Contact: Rhonda Burke     Scott Allen
Phone: 312-353-6976     312-353-6976
E-mail: burke.rhonda@dol.gov     allen.scott@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA fines AK Steel Corp. in Middletown, Ohio,
$53,000 for failing to record worker injuries, hearing loss

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued AK Steel Corp. five willful and three other-than-serious citations for failing to record occupational injuries at its Middletown facility. The company, which produces flat-rolled and tubular steel products, is facing proposed penalties of $53,000.

"AK Steel has implemented policies where a portion of its managers' bonus money often involves taking disciplinary action against workers for reporting injuries," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "If accurate records are not compiled because workers believe they will be fired or disciplined for reporting an injury, or supervisors fear they will lose their bonuses if workers report injuries, real safety is not being achieved. Accurate workplace injury and illness records are vital tools for identifying hazards and protecting workers' health and safety."

OSHA has issued AK Steel willful citations for failing to properly record occupational injuries on the OSHA 300 Log for more than three years, from January 2007 through the inspection in April 2010. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

"By not properly recording injuries and creating an environment that discourages employees from reporting occupational hazards, AK Steel has demonstrated a blatant disregard for the safety and welfare of its workers," said OSHA Area D