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TimkenSteel cited in death of worker from nitrogen exposure

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Posted at 6:21 PM, Sep 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-09 06:27:14-04

Federal investigators cited a Canton steel mill for safety violations, including an incident where an employee was found dead in an elevator earlier this year. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration found TimkenSteel failed to protect employees from a hazardous atmosphere that was created by nitrogen going into the ventilation system, according to documents released by the agency on Thursday. 

TimkenSteel also failed to train employees how to detect hazardous chemicals in the work area. 

A TimkenSteel representative said the company has been working with OSHA and is in the process of improving their facilities. 

In March, Kenny Ray Jr., was conducting a check of fire extinguishers at Faircrest Steel Plant when he was found unresponsive. The Stark County coroner later declared him dead at the scene.

It was determined Ray, who was a Creston police officer, died as a result of nitrogen leaking in to the control room causing a lost of oxygen. Officials with OSHA have said Ray's death was preventable. 

OSHA opened an investigation into the steel company following Ray's death. 

TimkenSteel faces a total of six safety violations and $113,000 in total penalties. Two of the violations repeat previous findings suggesting the steel company failed to provide standard railing and toeboards for workers. 

Last month, TimkenSteel settled with OSHA to fix hazards at its Ohio plants that were highlighted in 2015 for multiple violations of fall protection standards. Under the settlement, TimkenSteel agreed to implement several safety enhancements. 

RELATED: 

Employee found dead at TimkenSteel also worked for Creston PD, Uniontown FD

OSHA: TimkenSteel worker likely died from nitrogen exposure, death was 'preventable'