Misteelco fined $75,000 after worker injured while moving heavy metal beam at Kitchener, Ont., plant
Compliance & Enforcement Fines ontario
A metal fabrication company in Kitchener, Ont., has been fined $75,000 after a worker was injured while moving a heavy beam.
The incident happened on Oct. 24, 2022, at Misteelco’s Prime Metal Service Centre. On that day, beams used in the fabrication of steel products were stored in piles in the yard of the Facility. When needed, beams would be brought into a workshop using a forklift.
A worker was assisting a co-worker in moving a 735-pound, 40-foot S-beam from a pile in the yard into the shop. The co-worker was operating a forklift to lift the beams, while the other worker was on the ground to help steer the beams as they were driven through the door of the shop. This was necessary because the door was only 20 feet wide, while the beams were 40 feet long.
The co-worker threaded a metal chain around the forks of the forklift and attached a beam clamp to the end of the chain, then drove the forklift to the centre of a pile of beams to lift and move an S-beam from the middle of the pile.
The worker who had been standing beside the pile held the beam to steady and guide it. While this was being done the chain on the forks settled causing the beam to wobble and fall out of the beam clamp. This resulted in a critical injury.
A Ministry of Labor, Immigration, Training and Skills Development investigation found that Misteelco Inc. failed to ensure the S-beam was transported, placed and stored so that it would not tip, collapse or fall, and could be removed or withdrawn without endangering the safety of a worker.
Following a guilty plea, Misteelco Inc. was fined $75,000. 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.