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ArcelorMittal Dofasco Fined $220K After Workers Injured
January 30, 2020
5 Min Read
Steel products manufacturer AcrelorMittal Dofasco MP Inc. is facing a fine of CAD$290,000 (about $220,000) after several workers were injured in two different incidents at the firm’s Hamilton, ON facility, the Ontario Ministry of Labour announced in a recent release.
Two workers were hurt on May 23, 2018 while cleaning a platform near a blast furnace. A malfunction of valves erupted the blast furnace and the workers were exposed to dust and gases, according to the ministry. Alarms were triggered on the carbon monoxide detectors worn by the workers because the air tested for over 1000 ppm of gas. The workers were not using self-contained breathing apparatuses during the incident and were later taken to a hospital for carbon monoxide exposure.
An investigation revealed that the company violated regulations on occupational exposure limits (OELS) to hazardous biological or chemical agents. A Ministry of Labour hygienist determined that the CO concentrations in air that the workers breathed ranged from 1137 to 6237 ppm, which is above the 125 ppm limit in the regulation.
A worker was injured in a second incident at the Hamilton facility on Dec. 6, 2018 while trying to feed flat stock material into a pair of rollers on the coil prep line. As the worker used a control sqitch with one hand and pushed steel between the rollers with their other hand, they accidentally flipped a switch in reverse and their hand made contact with a pinch point between the two rollers. While a shield was on the machine, the Ministry of Labor said it did not adequately block access to the pinch point.
The Ministry of Labour found that the company violated section 25 of Ontario Regulation 851 (the Industrial Establishments Regulation) that mandates that “an in-running nip hazard or any part of a machine, device, or thing that may endanger the safety of any worker shall be equipped with, and guarded by, a guard or other device that prevents access to the pinch point.”
ArcelorMittal also cited for failing as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures in the regulations were carried out in the workplace, a violation of section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The company plead guilty in court to citations linked to both incidents. ArcelorMittal received a $170,000 fine for the May 2018 incident and a $120,000 fine for the accident in December 2018.
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