Worker death results in $150K fine for steel company

Tuesday May 15, 2018
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
May 15, 2018 - Following a guilty plea, Janco Steel Ltd. was fined $150,000 after a worker was fatally injured after being crushed by a steel coil that fell off  a production line.

Janco Steel Ltd., located in Stoney Creek, Ont., processes steel products, including slit-to-width large coils. When a coil is cut or slit in accordance with a customer’s specifications, Janco Steel describes the cut pieces as ‘mults.’

Workers were applying strapping to a group of steel coils which had been slit on the slitting line. The coils (mults) were secured on a coil car. The coil car under the mults had been raised without first lowering the coil car hold-down arm, which is an arm equipped with metal rings that slide into place that prevent the mults from tipping. As a result, the mult that was at the end of the arm was unstable. That mult fell off the machine’s turnstile and crushed a worker, causing fatal injuries, according to the Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation.

Section 45(a) of the Industrial Establishments Regulation (Regulation 851) prescribes that “material, articles or things required to be lifted, carried or moved, shall be lifted, carried or moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards...as will ensure that the lifting, carrying or moving of the  material, articles or things does not endanger the safety of any worker.”

According to the MOL, Janco Steel failed to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by section 45(a) of the Industrial Establishments Regulation were complied with at the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This is an offence pursuant to section 66(1) of the act.

In addition to the $150,000 fine, 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.

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