Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Hamilton Specialty Bar (2007) Inc. was fined $60,000 on April 27 for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) after a worker was injured at its factory in Hamilton.

On September 29, 2008, workers were installing a new part in a large furnace used to melt scrap metal. The furnace’s roof was open so that the part could be lowered into the furnace with a chain hoist. While one of the workers was guiding the chain by hand, the chain block, which protects the hoist’s pulleys, hit the open roof. This caused a piece of slag to fall about 12 metres and strike the worker who was guiding the chain. The worker’s arm, shoulder and back were injured.

Hamilton Specialty Bar (2007) Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to protect the worker from the falling slag.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Hugh J. Brown. 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:

Hamilton Specialty Bar was convicted of violating section 35 of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90  which states,

“Overhead protection shall be provided where falling material may endanger a worker.”

Well, it looks like the same old story, just another employer not understanding their responsibilities under the law.

This operation should have had the hazards identified and spelled out to the operator and the support staff. Only then would the team be deemed competent and the task would have a better chance to come to a safer conclusion.

I would hope, in the future, the employer would look at projects such as this one in a different light and have a pre-meeting to discuss all the possible issues so that safety is the top priority.

Health and Safety should always be incorporated into the planning stage. It just makes good sense.

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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