Blog Post #1272 – Injury Caused by Steel Bar Results in $40,000 Fine for Harrow Manufacturer

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker, employed by Sellick Equipment Ltd., a manufacturer and supplier of heavy machinery and rough terrain equipment in Harrow, Ontario, suffered critical injuries when a steel bar fell from an industrial magnet. The employer had failed to maintain a lift magnet in good condition.

On November 23, 2018, a worker employed at the industrial plant’s fabrication department was operating an overheard crane attached to a chain hoist and a Mag-Mate lift magnet. The magnet is high-powered magnetic device used to lift metal objects.

The worker was using the magnet to transport a chrome plated steel bar which weighed 233 pounds. The worker was transferring the chrome bar into a drawer to be stored.

While the bar was suspended by the magnet, the worker reached underneath the chrome bar in order to move metal bars within the storage drawer. While doing so, the chrome bar dislodged and fell, striking the worker and causing critical injuries.

The Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the surface of the magnet was not kept clear of debris. The ministry’s inspector observed fragments of steel burrs and metal shavings on the bottom of the magnet.

Although the worker had received on-the-job training from Sellick, the worker had not received formal overhead crane training, nor had the worker received or reviewed the operating manual for the magnet. The manual specifically required the surface of the magnet to be kept clean from debris.

Following a guilty plea in provincial offences court in Windsor, Sellick Equipment Ltd. was fined $40,000 by Justice of the Peace Susan Hoffman; Crown Counsel Alessandra Hollands.

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:

Sellick Equipment Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1(b) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(b)  the equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are maintained in good condition.”

Would you let your children access unsafe vehicles? I do not think so!

Remember, we are instructed to ensure periodic maintenance and the information provided in the manual would have covered when and how often.

I believe section 25 of the OHSA, subsection 2(a) and 2(h) were also in contravention.

2(a) states,

“An employer shall,

  • provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”

2(h) states,

“An employer shall,

“take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ 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 

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.



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