Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
A $300,000 fine was levied against Essar Steel Algoma Inc., In mid-October, following the death of a worker two years ago. The penalty was ordered in the wake of a fatality at the company’s steel mill on October 30, 2008. A guilty plea was entered regarding the company’s failure to ensure that appropriate overhead guarding was in place to prevent falling material from harming a worker, notes the MOL in Toronto.
Three workers had been doing a pre-start check on a conveyor used to pile rocks, the MOL reports. Maintenance team members believed the system was empty, but toward the end of the check, material weighing more than 125 kilograms fell off the conveyor about one worker, causing fatal crushing injuries.
In a separate incident, a worker was checking a truck battery on July 31, 2008, when it exploded and splattered liquid, (electrolyte) in the worker’s face. The worker made it to an emergency eyewash fountain, but the unit was not working. Essar Steel Algoma was handed a $25,000 fine for failing to maintain an eyewash fountain in good condition, as required by Ontario’s Regulations for Construction Projects.
The law(s) in contravention:
Essar Steel Algoma was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishment’ regulation 851/90, section 34, subsection (b) which states,
“Guards shall be provided beneath conveyors,
(b) from which falling material, including broken conveyor parts, may be a hazard to any worker.”
This was in direct contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
Where was the checklist required to check the conveyor and was there a tool box meeting, conducted by the supervisor, before hand. All these questions should have been asked and answered prior to any maintenance of the equipment and review. It seems like this particular company refused to either create the procedures or FORGOT to discuss them before hand. Too bad for the worker.
Essar Steel Algoma has numerous accidents on their job-site. Too bad they never received the safety memo.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
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Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.