Sunday, December 21, 2003

AK Steel will pay $7,125 for fatality

The Associated Press

MIDDLETOWN - AK Steel Corp. has been fined the maximum $7,125 by the federal government for an accident that killed a worker at its Middletown mill July 10.

Ralph E. Jones, 41, of Waynesville, died when a 2,000-pound crane block fell on him while he was operating a forklift. The maintenance worker was employed by the steelmaker since 1985.

The fine came in a settlement between the company and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

AK Steel officials believed they did not violate the agency's rules but agreed to settle the case, spokesman Alan McCoy said, declining further comment.

The crane block is part of the hoist attached to wire ropes that lift the material carried by the crane. The company was cited for not having a properly located mechanism on the crane and for not adequately warning employees beneath the crane, said Dennis Collins, assistant director of the Cincinnati-area OSHA office.

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