Blog Post #1072 – Trenton Company Fined $55,000 After Worker Injured by Steel Struts

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

 A worker who was moving a bundle of steel using an overhead crane suffered permanent crushing injuries when an outer steel strut in the bundle moved inward. The accident took place at Frazier Industrial Company operating as Fracan, 163 North Murray Street, Trenton, Ontario, a steel fabrication facility. The date of the offense was March 08, 2016.

A worker was given the task of moving a bundle of steel using an overhead crane. The bundle consisted of 20 steel struts stacked in four rows with three-inch wooden spacers between each row. The bundled weighed about 2,600 pounds and was 20.5 feet long.

The worker used a set of lifting chains attached to the overhead crane to move the bundle and was holding onto the bundle to keep it steady as it lifted.

As the load was being raised, one of the outer steel struts in the bundle suddenly moved inward and pressed against the next steel strut.

The worker suffered a crushing injury which resulted in a permanent injury.

The investigation by the Ministry of Labour revealed that it was common for the steel struts to shift in this manner when being moved by overhead cranes.

This was a direct violation of Section 45(a) of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ regulation 851/90.

Fracan was fined $55,000 by Justice of the Peace Christopher I. Peltzer in Belleville court on November 22, 2017.

The court also 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:

Fracan was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ regulation 851/90, section 45 (a) which states,

“Material, articles or things,

  • 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.”

I cannot believe that this type of incident/accident could have easily been prevented if the company had completed a proper JHA, (job hazard assessment or analysis) and has a completed daily checklist for the crane operator.

My next two question would be,

  • “Where was the health and safety committee?” (or safety rep.) and
  • “Where was the supervisor in all this?

A terrible tragedy that could easily have been prevented if certain people took certain precautions before any work was to be done.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

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’, ‘Material Handling Safety’ 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 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

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


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