Blog Post #713 – High Strength Plates & Profiles Inc. Fined $110,000 in Death of Worker

Blog Post #713 – High Strength Plates & Profiles Inc. Fined $110,000 in Death of Worker

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

High Strength Plates & Profiles Inc., a company that processes high-strength plate and sheet steel, has been fined $110,000 in the death of a worker at its Lively, Ontario operation centre.

On May 21, 2013, a worker who had been employed at the centre for a short period of time was engaged in material handling. Using a 15-ton overhead crane, the worker was moving a large steel plate weighing over 7,800 pounds from a plate pile. The worker was using a two-point lift with pups (hooks that are part of the lifting device) to move the plate; the company instructs operators to use four pups for heavy plate lifts. In cases where two-point lifts are done with pups, the operator relies on the centre of gravity for lifting.

The worker was using a hand-held remote device to operate the crane. During the move, the plate became unstable and shifted.

While the plate was shifting but before it tipped, the worker moved around the plate into a pinch point between the suspended plate and a plate pile. The plate continued to slide and struck the worker, pinning the worker under the plate and causing fatal injuries.

High Strength Plates & Profiles Inc. pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that material required to be lifted, carried or moved were moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards as to not endanger the safety of a worker, and was fined $110,000.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Pierre O. Leclerc. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

High Strength Plates and Profiles Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 45 (a) of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 which states,

“Materials, articles or things,

(a) required to be lifted, carried or moved, shall be lifted, carried or moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards, including protective clothing, guards or other precautions as will ensure that the lifting, carrying or moving of the material, articles or things does not endanger the safety of any worker.”

High Strength Plates and Profiles Inc. was also found guilty of a violation of section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the Ontario Safety and Health Act, (OHSA) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) The measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

This is my first attempt at a post in almost a month. (Irish holiday) I may be a little rusty but I thought this may be a good place to get a fresh start.

I wonder where the supervisor when this was happening? It seems that that it was a regular occurrence to use only a 2 pup system instead of the preferred, (and safer) 4 pup system? Was it talked about at a pre-meeting before the event took place? Is there a set of written safe work instructions available, and, if so, were they discussed?

Too many questions and not enough answers were directly involved with the accident. The company should always use ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Continuous Improvement’ when running a business. It is expected by the Ontario government and the Ministry of Labour.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Overhead Crane Certification’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

Dan
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