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Entanglement injury spurs $60,000 penalty

REGINA (Canadian OH&S News)


REGINA (Canadian OH&S News)

A steel mill in Regina has been handed the province’s largest fine for an occupational health and safety violation in the past fiscal year.

Evraz Regina Steel, a steel recycling mill that produces plate and coil steel that is converted into energy tubular products, was fined $60,000 after pleading guilty under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to failing to ensure that a machine was effectively guarded to prevent workers from coming into contact with moving parts on a machine.

On January 20, 2009, two electricians were repairing the main hoist of a crane when one worker became tangled in the motor drive shaft, causing multiple fractures and lacerations, says Glennis Bihun, executive director of the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety’s Occupational Health and Safety division.

One separate charge, for the failure to ensure a machine is locked out prior to maintenance and repair, was stayed by the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan in Regina, she adds.

The second largest fine in the 2011/2012 fiscal year, which ended in March, was for $42,000 and also involved a serious injury. Bunge Canada Holdings I ULC of Halifax was fined in January after pleading guilty to ensure that a worker did not work within 4.6 metres of an exposed energized conductor, says a release from the labour ministry.

In August of 2009, a worker in the Saskatchewan town of Nipawin was inspecting a railcar and received an electrical shock while attempting to remove foreign material located below a power line.

The largest fine ever handed down in Saskatchewan was in March of 2010, when the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all workers and was fined the maximum amount of $300,000 under Saskatchewan’s OHSA — only the second time the maximum had been applied. This penalty also included the maximum allowable $120,000 victim fine surcharge after a worker was killed at a mine in September 2008, bringing the total fine to $420,000.