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J.M. Lahman Manufacturing Inc. fined $150K after child killed at factory


November 13, 2018 – Ontario steel tube manufacturer J.M. Lahman Manufacturing Inc. will be charged $150,000 by the Ministry of Labour after a child was struck and killed by falling steel tubes in its factory last year. The company was convincted today following a guilty plea.

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.

According to the Ministry of Labour, a worker/supervisor for the company was attending at the facility, located in Linwood, Ontario northeast of Kitchener, and was accompanied by two children. One of the children was moving freely through the aisles of the facility unaccompanied. The worker used a crane to place three bundles of steel tubing on top of a stack of similar bundles. The three bundles had been left over from the day’s work. Each bundle of tubing weighed approximately 2,140 pounds. The total weight of the stack was estimated to be 15 tons.

The stack of bundles dropped and collapsed. The stack fell onto the child who had been moving about and the child was killed instantly. The other child was far enough away as not to be harmed.

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A Ministry of Labour engineer determined during the investigation that the use of softwood spacers between the bundles and the use of insufficient numbers of bands to hold the tubes together contributed to the collapse. There may have been other factors as well.
 
The Ministry of Labour notes that a workplace is a factory as defined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act with regulations that prohibit the presence of persons under the age of 15 in a factory unless accompanied by an adult. A fine of $100,000 was imposed for permitting a person under the age of 15 to be in a factory. A fine of $50,000 was imposed for failing to ensure that bundles of steel tubing were placed and/or stored in a manner such that they could not tip, collapse and/or fall as required by the regulations.