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Workers injured in 2 of 3 Stelco incidents

Hamilton, ON -- Steel producer Stelco Inc. recently received $400,000 in fines for three separate incidents, two of...


Hamilton, ON — Steel producer Stelco Inc. recently received $400,000 in fines for three separate incidents, two of which caused injuries, reports the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

In June 2005, one worker lost both thumbs and a second worker suffered broken toes when a shear blade cut through a sling and fell to the ground. The workers had been trying to move the blade. The company pled guilty for failing to ensure the blade was moved in a way that did not endanger worker safety, as per section 45(a) of the Industrial Establishments Regulation (O. Reg 851). Fine: $160,000.

In November 2005, a worker lost a leg below the knee after he was pinned between equipment on a machine in the company’s sinter plant. Stelco pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that adjustments, repairs and maintenance were performed on the machine only when motion that may endanger a worker had been stopped and blocked to prevent further movement, as per section 75 of O. Reg 851. Fine: $180,000.

In February 2006, Stelco failed to ensure that a safety gate on a blast furnace was fenced or guarded, as required by section 185(2) of the Mines and Mining Plants Regulation (O. Reg 854/90. A fence guard had been in place, but was later removed. Fine: $60,000.

According to media coverage of Stelco’s court appearance, Crown counsel attributed the high fines to the company’s health and safety record, which includes 18 prior convictions since 1978. In 2004, the company was fined $250,000 following the 2001 death of a steelworker Jeffrey Turner at its Hilton Works.