OHS Canada Magazine

Contractor fined $60,000 after Stelco worker critically hurt in fall during repair and maintenance work

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August 31, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety contractors Fall Protection Fines ontario Stelco working at heights

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A contractor doing work at Stelco has been fined $60,000, plus a victim fine surcharge, after a Stelco employee was hurt in a fall during maintenance and repair work.

B. Phillips Company (1987) Limited was contracted by Stelco Inc., a steel manufacturer, to perform maintenance and repair work on one of its oxygen furnaces. This included replacing a shielding skirt on a vessel used to purify steel.

To access the vessel, workers entered from the second floor through three large doors on a high-traffic walkway, which were open to numerous workers. The centre doors opened to a large-engineered platform equipped with railings and capable of supporting equipment needed for the repair work. The other two doors did not have engineered platforms and B. Phillips Company erected temporary railings supplemented with yellow caution tape across the openings.

The openings did not have properly constructed guardrails or necessary fall protection devices.

On Aug. 17, 2020, a worker employed by Stelco, leaned on one of the temporary railings and it came loose, causing the worker to fall, sustaining critical injuries.


The court found at trial that B. Phillips Company (1987) Limited, as an employer, failed to ensure the measures and procedures prescribed by sections 13(1)(b) and 14 of Ontario Regulation 851, were carried out in the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

It also failed to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker contrary to section 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Stelco Inc. was also charged under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, but was acquitted on all counts.

Following a trial in the Ontario Court of Justice, B. Phillips Company (1987) Limited was fined $20,000 per count, for a total of $60,000. The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act bringing the total to $75,000.


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