Coreslab Structures fined more than $280,000 after worker found dead inside concrete mixing tank
Health & Safety Fines lockout tagout LOTO ontario
Coreslab Structures has been fined $281,250 by an Ontario court after a worker was found fatally injured inside a steel concrete mixing tank on Oct. 18, 2021.
The Dundas, Ont.-based company uses a steel concrete mixing tank called a Planetary Concrete Mixer in the production of precast concrete products. At the end of every shift, the mixer requires cleaning, including the inside where the concrete is mixed. Cleaning inside requires a worker to go into the mixer through one of two top entry hatches.
To ensure the mixer is safe to clean, Coreslab Structures developed a step-by-step safe cleaning procedure and provided it to workers appointed to clean the equipment. The safe cleaning procedure in place prior to the incident included:
- turning the mixer main panel dial to “off”
- applying the worker’s own LOTO (lock out tag out) device to the main panel lever
- physically turning and removing two keys from the main panel
- placing those keys into each of the hatch locks to allow access into the mixer
Each one of these safety steps, when performed on its own, stopped the mixer from operating. However, Coreslab Structures trained workers to perform all of the steps.
Prior to the incident, both hatch locks had ceased working due to a build-up of concrete and concrete dust within the locking mechanisms, and both had been removed for repair. As a result, access into the mixer did not, at that time, require unlocking the hatch locks with the keys from the main panel to permit temporary access to the operating mixer.
There were no eyewitnesses to the fatal incident.
Section 76(a) of Ontario Regulation 851 requires that where the starting of a machine, transmission machinery, device or thing may endanger the safety of a worker, control switches or other control mechanism shall be locked out. Coreslab Structures (Ont.) Inc., failed, as an employer, to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by section 76(a) of the regulation were carried out in the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Following a guilty plea, Coreslab Structures (Ont.) Inc. was fined $225,000. The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act bringing the total to $281,250. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.