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Steel mill faces safety fines after sling bolt failure

Posted On: Aug. 5, 2016 12:00 AM CST

An Arkansas steel mill has been cited and is facing $56,000 in proposed fines from federal workplace safety regulators after an employee fatality.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Blytheville, Arkansas-based Nucor-Yamato Steel Co. for eight serious violations after the employee died when a sling broke and a 14,000-pound bolt struck him, according to an agency news release issued on Tuesday.

OSHA's investigation found violations such as exposing workers to unprotected open-sided floors at a height greater than 4 feet, failure to inspect all functional operating mechanisms of the overhead crane on a daily basis and using a damaged sling for lifting, according to the release.

“Nucor-Yamato Steel used damaged slings in their daily operations,” Carlos Reynolds, OSHA's area director in Little Rock, Arkansas, said in a statement. “Inspecting slings properly and not overloading them can make the difference between keeping workers safe and costing a man his life.”

"We are in the process of reviewing OSHA's allegations and will continue to work with the agency as we consider the basis and validity of the OSHA citations," the company said in an emailed statement. "Nucor and the NYS family continue to mourn the loss of our teammate and friend. The safety of our teammates is, and will continue to be, our highest priority.