Warren coke plant sets new standard for protecting workers, environment

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The new certification recognizes a commitment to excellence so no one gets hurt on the job and environmental impact is low

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – The ArcelorMittal coke plant Warren is leading the way by achieving a new safety standard.

The plant’s ISO 45001 designation is a big deal.

“We’re the first — not only in the USA, but worldwide,” general manager Joe Magni said.

Team Warren is leading the way for ArcelorMittal. It took about a year to switch over to the standard and it was a team effort.

“Making sure that we really get the employees’ input related to health and safety changes and making sure we’re doing what’s needed, as far as what the boots on the ground are out there doing,” said Mike Paterson, manager of health and safety.

ArcelorMittal has 175 employees in Warren. They take 700,000 tons of coal each year and burn it in 85 ovens at 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit. That turns into 500,000 tons of coke, which is taken to a blast furnace in Cleveland.

“I think it makes us more aware of the dangers that are out there,” said Craig Humes, United Steelworkers safety representative. “We were able to identify deficiencies and correct them.”

The standards recognize a commitment to excellence so no one gets hurt on the job.

The plant also has a certificate for its work to minimize its environmental impact because while that coal is burning, it’s catching the byproducts.

“It puts a lot of pressure on our entire system that we have to beat the standard in all areas,” said Marian Gammon, environmental manager.

The higher standard means great things for workers and the environment. It also means ArcelorMittal Warren is doing everything it can to protect both.

“When we went through the certification process, there was no findings,” Magni said. “There wasn’t even any opportunities for improvement when they went through and certified us. It was unconditional approval for a brand new safety system.”

ArcelorMittal plants in America make steel to be used in cars, washing machines and — just announced Thursday — the USS St. Louis, which is a new Navy ship that will be commissioned soon.

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