The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited JSW Steel USA for more than 20 violations, charging the company "disregards the safety and health" of employees at its Baytown, Texas, facility.
Proposed penalties for the alleged violations total $469,420.
According to the federal agency, OSHA initiated a safety inspection in September 2011 in response to employee complaints, while simultaneously conducting a site-specific target inspection. The site-specific program targets locations with high rates of injuries and illnesses.
Following those inspections, OSHA cited JSW Steel for 11 repeat violations, 23 serious and two other-than-serious violations.
The alleged repeat violations include failing to: provide covers for open pits and floor holes; develop and conduct periodic inspections for lockout/tagout procedures for energy sources; ensure that fire extinguishers were mounted and readily available; and provide the required machine guarding for rotating parts.
OSHA says it cited the company for similar violations and others in May 2009. Penalties then reached $146,500.
The serious violations included numerous electrical hazards and failure to ensure the use of personal protective equipment.
OSHA has placed JSW Steel in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request a conference with OSHA or contest the charges.