Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
A steel-recycling company in Windsor, Ontario was fined $55,000 on March 22, 2019 over a worker injury in 2017.
The incident occurred on May 01, 2017 at K-Scrap Resources Ltd.’s facility which was divided into work areas serviced internally by vehicle pathways, a railroad track and a locomotive. A worker was working in the tube torching cell area where steel pipe tubes were being cut to smaller lengths.
The area is outlined with pre-cast concrete blocks fitted with steel racking that has notches to stop tubes from moving once they are placed into the area for processing. The area borders the employer’s rail track, and a crane is used to move the tubes into the area.
Once a tube has been placed, the worker enters the area and uses a cutting torch to cut the tube into appropriate links for removal by the crane. As a worker was cutting the tubes, a rail-car that was being pushed on the rail track by the locomotive struck the ends of two tubes protruding from the area into the path of the rail-car.
The first tube that was struck by the locomotive cause the other end of the tube to sweep across the ground, and the second to that was struck swept across the ground in a similar motion knocking down the worker.
A subsequent investigation by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour determined that K-Scrap did not take the reasonable precaution of erecting barrier or similar devices and visible indicators to ensure that a tube and other material were not located in the path of the rail-car. The company pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Windsor Court with an additional 25% victim fine surcharge.
K-Scrap Resources Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 2(h) which states,
“The employer shall,
Take every precaution reasonableness circumstances for the protection of the worker.”
- Where was the supervisor in all this?
- Was there a job hazard assessment completed prior to the job?
- Was a supervisor even competent to organize the work?
These are some of the main questions the Ministry of Labour would have asked K-Scrap that could not be answered.
Now, I do not know if the accident caused a “Critical Injury” or not but the fine could have been much higher. I hope K-Scrap knows and appreciates this. The safety of each worker MUST be their #1 priority!
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 We can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.