Excerpt from the OHS Canada magazine (May 2023)
ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P. has been fined a total of $218,750 after a worker was injured at its plan in Hamilton.
On June 26, 2021, four workers were preparing a production line at the company’s steel mill for a tool change.
During this changeover, the line was put into jog mode, which enables the line to run at a reduced speed.
One worker attended to the weld coil, a component that is removed as part of the changeover. This requires the use of a socket wrench to release a bolted plate that holds the coil in place.
The tube steel product being manufactured travels through the weld coil and enters rollers used to guide the tube to the next part of the mill.
While using the socket wrench on the weld holder plate bolts, the worker’s hand was pulled by the tube into a pinch point within the machinery causing a critical injury.
Following a guilty plea, the company was fined $175,000. The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act, brining the total to $218,750. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
The law(s) in contravention:
ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’ sector regulation 851/90, section 25 which states,
An in-running nip hazard or any part of a machine, device or thing that may endanger the safety of any worker shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the pinch point.
This is 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.”
This is not the first time a worker was severely injured at a steel mill in Ontario. Stelco, also of Hamilton, has had many fines directed their way and when an accident happens at just such a place, the accidents/incidents are usually of the Critical Injury type.
A ‘Critical Injury’ is;
“An injury of a serious nature that,
(a) places life in jeopardy,
(b) produces unconsciousness,
(c) results in substantial loss of blood,
(d) involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe,
(e) involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe,
(f) consists of burns to a major portion of the body, or
(g) causes the loss of sight in an eye.”
One would think that steel mill safety awareness would be a top priority!
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Machine Guarding’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.