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Region 3 News Release: 11-27-PHI (osha 11-006)
Jan. 13, 2011
Contact: Leni Fortson       Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5102       215-861-5101
E-mail: uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov       hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites US Steel Corp. and Power Piping Co.
with $175,000 in fines for energy control hazards following July 2010 explosion

PITTSBURGH–The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited U.S. Steel Corp. and Power Piping Co. with safety citations for failing to provide an effective energy control procedure and exposing workers to burns following an explosion at U.S. Steel's Clairton Works facility in Clairton, Pa.

OSHA initiated an investigation in July 2010 after being notified that workers from both companies suffered first, second and third-degree burns, as well as other serious injuries. As a result of the investigation, OSHA cited U.S. Steel for two willful and 11 serious violations, with a total penalty of $143,500.

Power Piping Co., which was contracted by U.S. Steel to provide steam fitting services at the site, was cited for six serious violations, with $31,500 in penalties.

"U.S. Steel and Power Piping did not have the proper controls in place to prevent worker exposure to hazardous energy," said Robert Szymanski, director of OSHA's Pittsburgh's Area Office. "These violations must be abated immediately to prevent future incidents."

The alleged willful violations for U.S. Steel involve the company's failure to provide an effective energy control procedure. A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

That company's alleged serious violations include a lack of fall protection, inadequate lockout/tagout to prevent