Corporation (USS) is contesting a $14,000 fine imposed by the Indiana
Department of Labor (DOL) in connection with the electrocution death in
September of a United Steelworker at Gary Works.
On Friday, DOL
spokesperson Kristen Reed confirmed that “the investigation is in litigation
with the Board of Safety Review,” after USS contested DOL’s Feb. 17 safety
That order assessed
two fines, each in the amount of $7,000 and both for “serious” violations,
following the death of Jonathan Arizzola, 30, of Valparaiso, who on Sept.
30, 2016, was performing maintenance on a 501 crane in the Gary Works
84-inch hot strip mill slab yard when he was electrocuted.
According to the
DOL order, “Collector rails 6, 7, and 8 were live, exposing employees to an
DOL imposed the
first $7,000 fine pursuant to this federal regulation: “Qualified persons
(i.e., those permitted to work on or near exposed energized parts) shall, at
a minimum, be trained in and familiar with the skills and techniques
necessary to distinguish exposed live parts from other parts of electrical
DOL imposed the
second $7,000 fine after its investigation found the following: “Protective
shields, protective barriers, or insulating materials were not used to
protect each employee from shock, burns, or other electrically related
injuries while that employee was working near exposed energized parts.”
DOL issued its Feb.
17 order only six months after fining USS a total of $28,000 for four
“serious” violations in connection with a similar incident: the
electrocution death in June 2016 of electrical maintenance technician
Charles Kremke, 67, at Gary Works.
According to that
earlier order, dated Oct. 4, Kremke was changing out a 250-volt fuse holder
at the No. 1 Caster, Westinghouse Basement, when, “while performing this
work, it was not determined that the 120-volt programmable logic control and
the 480-volt transformer were energized.”
In addition to a
$7,000 fine imposed for the violation of the federal regulation requiring
qualified persons to be trained “to distinguish exposed live parts from
other parts of electrical equipment,” the Oct. 4 order assessed three
additional $7,000 fines for these violations:
* Live parts to
which an employee might be exposed were not de-energized before the employee
worked on or near them.
* Before an
employee began working on equipment believed to have been de-energized, a
qualified person “did not verify” that the equipment had in fact been
* USS did not
provide, or the employee did not use, “protective shields, protective
barriers, or insulating materials as necessary to avoid inadvertent contact”
with energized parts in the “confined or enclosed space” in which the
employee was working at the time.
death in June--but before Arizzola’s in September--USS laid off 38
maintenance workers at Gary Works, in a move which the United Steelworkers
criticized as putting workers in danger.