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Family protests fatal TimkenSteel explosion

Sign: 'TimkenSteel killed my family'
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Posted at 8:45 AM, Aug 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-22 15:49:35-04

PERRY TOWNSHIP, Ohio  — A family is pushing for change after a TimkenSteel employee died from injuries he sustained in an explosion at the plant last month. Joseph Ferrall was one of three employees who has hospitalized after the explosion at the Faircrest plant. Over the weekend, he died from his injuries.

Family members held a protest on Monday morning where they asked for safer working conditions. Ferrall's mother-in-law, Wendy Saunders, said the last few weeks have been heartbreaking for her daughter and grandchildren.

"We have been suffering. The boys are suffering. They miss their dad. My 8-year-old grandson asked me who was going to go to work for them and take care of them now," Saunders said.

Ferrall had burns covering 75% of his body and was flown to Cleveland Metro the night of the explosion on July 26.

TimkenSteel released the following statement:

"Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and coworkers. We are supporting our employees with counseling resources. At this time, we are continuing to investigate the cause of the incident."

RELATED: TimkenSteel employee dies from injuries after last month's explosion

This is the latest incident for the company that was recently placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program last month.

OSHA's Enforcement Program focuses on inspecting employers that have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations by willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations.

TimkenSteel became one of about 700 companies on the list, including about 60 in Ohio.

OSHA has opened an investigation looking into the incident, further information will be available once the investigation is complete. By law, OSHA has six months to complete the investigation.

Back in 2013, two workers were killed when a massive piece of a crane fell on them at the plant.

In 2016, Kenny Ray Jr., a fire technician at TimkenSteel, died of nitrogen exposure.

RELATED: OSHA: Worker likely died from nitrogen exposure

Most recently, TimkenSteel was cited by OSHA after a 65-year-old worker was killed in Decembeer 2021 at the Gambrinus facility.

OSHA found the company failed to install guards or provide proper hand tools to prevent workers from getting caught up in machinery.

Firefighters believe the explosion started in a furnace but need to investigate further.

TimkenSteel spun off as its own company from The Timken Company in 2014.