Probe Begins in EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steelmill Explosion in Pueblo
The Pueblo Chieftain reported that 2 of the eight employees injured during an explosion at the EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel Mill on 29 April remain hospitalized as officials probe the site to try to determine the cause of the blast and assess the damage. The explosion occurred in an electric arc furnace. Evraz, vice president of operations at the Pueblo location Mr David Light told the Chieftain he believed the eruption was caused by water getting into the electrical furnace, causing pressure to build and ultimately erupt. In partnership with United Steel Workers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, EVRAZ has begun an investigation into the incident.
EVRAZ’s communications consultant and president of The Kenney Group media relations firm Mr David Kenney said “First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with our injured colleagues and their families. In the confusion of the immediate aftermath of the event, there was initial uncertainty as to the scope and severity of the event. This is a difficult time for all of us, we are saddened by the injuries to our team members and we will do everything we can to support them and their families through their recovery, while we work to identify and rectify the causes of this terrible event. OSHA has already been on site and has commenced their investigation. We have established a command center and operations, maintenance and engineering officials are working collectively to determine the precise cause of the explosion, assess damage and develop a time-table for repairs. The steel making portion of the mill where the explosion occurred is closed as they have their investigation and assess the damage. Other parts of the mill are still functional because we had steel in stock.”
The steel mill had been cited for putting employees at risk before. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued citations against Evraz Steel Mill multiple times in the past for safety violations. The citations were mostly for not having proper safety protections in place, such as fire extinguishers and guardrails, or not routinely inspecting large, overhead cranes.