Pueblo steel mill responds to previous OSHA citations

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PUEBLO, Colo. — An employee from the EVRAZ Steel Mill in Pueblo continues to recover at a Denver hospital after a weekend explosion.

It happened on Saturday night within the mill’s steel-making department. It’s still unclear how many employees were working at the time of the explosion, but EVRAZ said they are working with the Local 2102 Union to help meet employee needs.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family and all of his teammates injured in this terrible accident,” said David Kenney, with the Kenney Group representing EVRAZ.

FOX21 previously reported the mill has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for putting employees at risk in the past.

“Evraz needs involve their workers in identifying and correcting hazardous conditions to ensure more effective safety and health management systems,” said David Nelson, OSHA’s Area Director in Englewood, Colorado during a 2016 investigation. “Evraz needs to fix these hazards before someone is injured or worse.”

Most recently, EVRAZ was penalized to pay thousands of dollars for a hazard violation which put employees at risk and exposed them to explosion.

“It was a Vacuum Tank De-Gasser, it was the investigation in 2016-2017 that was a different piece of equipment at a different part of the mill and in no way related to the incident on Saturday and those discrepancies were addressed at this time,” said Kenney.

Right now an investigation continues to determine the cause of the explosion, Kenney said EVRAZ is working cooperatively with the United Steelworker Workers Rapid Response team and OSHA.

EVRAZ also said their operations engineering and management team set up a command center site to further asses damage and begin facility repairs.

“The safety of our employees is our highest priority, OSHA was on site immediately and started their investigation,” said Kenney.

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