OSHA has settled a fine of $300,000 against Rocky Mountain Steel Mills (RMSM) in Pueblo, Colo., and will require the company to invest another $150,000 to improve safety at the plant.
The find comes in the wake of two deaths in the last couple of years and a comprehensive wall-to-wall OSHA inspection of the mill that revealed 1,078 instances of workplace safety and health violations.
Rocky Mountain Steel Mills is a division of Oregon Steel Mills Inc.
The latest incident, an explosion at the company''s Portland, Oregon mill on April 27, seriously injured one worker.
The United Steelworkers of America (USWA), applauded OSHA for fining RMSM for the safety violations.
"USWA embraces the government''s actions as a boost to our efforts to get the steelmaker to make its workplace safer in the wake of the two workers'' deaths, said Terry Bonds, USWA District 12 director. "Even the Associated Press has identified RMSM as having Colorado''s ''worst industrial safety record.''"
In August 2000, OSHA released its findings of its investigation of RMSM, previously doing business as CF&I, and then OSHA Administrator Charles Jeffress noted that RMSM''s repeated violations of safety and health regulations.
"CF&I Steel is no stranger to OSHA inspection, and should be very aware of safety and health regulations for its workers," said Jeffress. "Just three years ago, OSHA fined RMSM $1.1 million for some of these same issues; yet management has continued to disregard employee safety."
by Virginia Sutcliffe