Blog Post #695 – Samuel, Son & Co Limited Fined $160,000 after Worker Killed

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Samuel, Son & Co. Limited, a Mississauga metal processor and distributor, was fined $160,000 today after a worker was killed.

On August 10, 2010, at the company’s Burlington plant, worker was cutting bands that held a bundle of steel coils together when one of the coils tipped over, crushing the worker.

The coils were 12 inches wide and five feet high and weighed over 10,000 pounds each. The bundle was in a cradle made up of slanted walls, and it was resting on a buggy used to move the coils up, down and onto a production line.

When cutting apart bundles of coils, workers should be in a safe position away from the face of the bundle. The buggy should also be in the down position, allowing the bundle to rest on the walls of the cradle, and the bundle should be resting entirely on the buggy.

At the time of the incident, the worker cutting the bands was standing in the face of the coils being cut and the buggy was in the raised position, preventing the bundle from resting on the walls of the cradle. Additionally, only a portion of the bundle of coils was resting on the buggy.

A trial determined that training provided by the company on how to safely disband, position and move coils was not sufficient, and the operating procedures for the equipment in question did not address known hazards.

Samuel, Son & Co. Limited was found guilty of failing to provide information, instruction and supervision on how to safely position, move and disband coils being processed on a slitting machine.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Denis Lee. 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:

Samuel, Son and Company Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of section 25, subsection 2 (a) of the OHSA which states,

“An employer shall,

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

All associated hazards must be identified, assessed and controlled prior to any work being done. Period!

Here we find Samuel and Son not knowing all issues dealing with a particular operation. This is totally unacceptable. All employers must find all associated hazards dealing with the work involved through an assessment prior to the work. Once the assessment has identified all potential hazards then controls have to be in place prior to any work being done. Again, Samuel and son did not do everything reasonable the circumstance to protect their worker.

Oh my goodness, I just quoted section 25, subsection 2 (h) of the Occupational Health & Safety Act. (OHSA)

I wonder if there will be a change coming to the ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90 that will be specific to this issue?

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’ 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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