U.S. Steel waited to stop No. 13

Today seems to be safety (or lack thereof) day.

Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune

U.S. Steel union workers battled with management in February to shut down Gary Works? No. 13 blast furnace after finding ?numerous cracks? they said caused poison gas to reach up to 18 times its permissible level.

This is the same blast furnace where a Valparaiso man died of carbon monoxide poisoning in December 2004, and where three contractors were seriously injured in January after being overcome by the gas.

The company report, which was given to the Indiana Department of Labor and obtained by the Post-Tribune, shows that the blast furnace was eventually shut down at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 14, more than 18 hours after the safety representative made the recommendation.

The blast furnace was shut down about three weeks ago for a major renovation. Workers are rebuilding it and will rename it blast furnace No. 14. But union workers contend the furnace should have been repaired much earlier.

And then

An explosion at Wheeling Pitt sends at least three people to the hospital.

WTRF

It happened at the Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Cogeneration plant in Mingo Junction late Tuesday afternoon when three contract workers were outside the plant testing a gas line when they saw a flash. Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel spokesman Jim Kosowski says he was told the injuries were minor, but we do know all three of them were taken to local hospitals. Production at the plant never stopped.

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