Weirton Steel Mill

Weirton Steel Mill

Weirton Steel was founded by Ernest Weir in 1909. He originally started at U.S. Steel and ended up as a general manager of the Monessen tin plate mill, but in 1905, he left to buy a tin plate mill in Clarksburg, West Virginia. He expanded his operation to Holiday’s Cove, which was later changed to Weirton. Within six years, 50 hot mills were in operation at three different locations. This made the company the second largest tin plate producer in the world. In 1918, the company was restructured as Weirton Steel Company.

In 1929, Weirton Steel merged with Michigan Steel and M.A. Hanna Steel to create National Steel Company. It became one of the country’s largest producers of steel. A Basic oxygen plant was added in 1967, which was a large technical advancement in the industry. In 1982, National Steel chose to stop investing in Weirton, so employees at the Weirton plant bought the company under an employee stock ownership plan. In 2004, the plant was sold to International Steel Group, which was sold to Mittal Steel. In 2006 Mittal merged with Arcelor to create ArcelorMittal to become the world’s largest steel producer.

Many people who worked at Weirton Steel were exposed to asbestos, which can lead to mesothelioma, lung cancer and other cancers. Asbestos was used as insulation on equipment and boilers as well as steam and hot water lines that reached extremely high temperatures. Other products containing asbestos include cement, gaskets, pumps, valves, bricks, and packing. These materials would break down over time, leading to carcinogenic asbestos fibers entering the air, which were then inhaled by workers. Asbestos was also used as protective clothing, which released fibers into the air when people moved around. Asbestos was used heavily in steel mills through the 1900s, so many workers were exposed to large quantities of the substance during their careers.

The longer someone is exposed to asbestos, the higher the chance someone will develop mesothelioma. People who worked in steel mills including the Weirton Steel Mill are at high risk of working with asbestos. If you worked at Weirton Steel, you could be entitled to compensation. People who worked at Weirton Steel and now have mesothelioma, lung cancer, colon and colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, or asbestosis should contact us at 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form. A member of our team will get back to you to discuss further steps.

Sources:
“History” Weirton Steel Corporation [Web Archive Link]
“What Happened to Weirton? Part 3: As Goes the Mill…” West Virginia Public Broadcasting (July 15, 2022). [Link]
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