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Essar Steel Algoma Ltd. Fined $250,000 Total After Workers Injured

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Essar Steel Algoma Ltd. Fined $250,000 Total After Workers Injured

Ministry of Labour

Sault Ste. Marie, ON - Essar Steel Algoma Ltd., a manufacturer of steel products, was fined $250,000 total for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after workers were injured.

On May 7, 2011, three workers at the Essar Steel Algoma Inc. plant at 105 West Street in Sault Ste. Marie prepared to pour liquid steel from a large vessel into a ladle. One worker operated the tilting of the vessel, while one acted as a helper and another monitored the pouring by looking into the 12-foot (3.7 metre) opening at the top. An unexpected reaction occurred while the pouring was underway, causing molten steel and a fireball to be expelled from the vessel. The workers suffered burns of varying degrees, including extensive burns to the worker who was monitoring the pouring.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that workers at risk of exposure to molten metal were not protected by a shield, screen or similar barrier.

A separate incident occurred at the plant on August 31, 2011. Workers at the plant worked to replace a sheave wheel (pulley wheel) at the top of a blast furnace. The workers attached a rolling trolley with a hoist to a stationary lifting beam. The hoist was to be used to lift the sheave wheel. A worker pulled on the trolley in order to move it out of the way of the work. The trolley moved towards the worker and fell off the beam, striking the worker and causing injuries.

A Ministry of Labour Investigation found that the stoppers on the beam were worn and failed to protect the worker from the rolling trolley.

A third incident occurred at the plant on April 18, 2012, when workers used a forklift to raise a 350 lb. (158.8 kg) cart from the main floor to the mezzanine level. While being lifted, the cart fell from the forks and struck a worker in the head, causing injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the cart was lifted in a way that endangered the safety of a worker.

Essar Steel Algoma Ltd. pleaded guilty to three violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act., and was fined $150,000 for the first incident, $50,000 for the second incident, and $50,000 for the third incident.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace JP Morris. 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.


Court Information at a Glance

Location:                     Ontario Court of Justice

                                    99 Foster Drive

                                    Sault Ste. Marie
                                   

Justice:                       Justice of the Peace JP Morris

Date of Sentencing:    May 28, 2013

Defendant:                  Essar Steel Algoma Ltd.

Matter:                        Occupational Health and Safety

Conviction:                  Ontario Regulation 851, Section 45 (a)

                                    Ontario Regulation 851, Section 84 (e)

                                    Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 25(1)(c)

Crown Counsels:         Wes Wilson

                                    Judy L. Chan


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