Stelco fined $200,000 in 2022 workplace fatality

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Published March 6, 2024 at 3:41 pm

Stelco has been fined $200,000 in the Ontario Court of Justice in the 2022 death of a worker who tried to repair a moving conveyor belt.

The ruling, by Judge George Gage, determined the steel maker “failed to ensure” the measures and procedures prescribed in Ontario’s workplace safety regulations were carried out properly. Stelco had filed a guilty plea in the case.

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.

On January 15, 2022, 66-year-old Kirk Moore was working alone in the coal handling area of the Wilcox Street plant and noticed a conveyor belt was slipping off its pulley.

To fix the problem, it is believed the coal handler got a can of belt dressing (adhesion spray) and applied it between the belt and the pulley while the conveyor belt was still moving.

About three hours later, a supervisor entered the area and noticed the worker had been injured and immediately called 911. Efforts to resuscitate the employee were unsuccessful.

A Ministry of Labour investigation discovered the conveyor was in motion without a guard to prevent access to the head end of the machine at the time of the incident.

Gage ruled Stelco Inc. did not ensure there was a means to safely apply belt dressing while the conveyor was in motion, as required under workplace regulations.

Following the incident, the employer improved lone-worker policies and physical machine guarding throughout its operations.

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