OHS Canada Magazine

Scrap metal recycler fined more than $80K after worker injured while unloading trailer in Hamilton

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June 14, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety Fines

American Iron & Metal, a Montreal-based company that recycles scrap metal, has been fined a total of $81,250 by an Ontario court after a worker was injured at its Hamilton facility.

On Dec. 10, 2021, a driver employed by American Iron & Metal Company Inc. was transferring loads of scrap metal to a shredding pile at the company’s scrap metal yard using a 40-foot dump trailer.

The driver was unloading the dump trailer from behind. After opening one of the rear doors, the driver opened the other rear door part way. The driver then moved to the inside of the door to open it the rest of the way. While the driver was inside the door, part of the load began to fall from the trailer, injuring the driver.

The driver had been employed by the company since 2020 but had only recently started driving and unloading the dump trailer and was still being trained on the company’s procedures for its use.

The company’s procedure for opening and unloading trailer rear doors is for the driver to stand outside the trailer door and use it to shield themselves from scrap metal that may fall when the door is opened. Information, instruction and supervision on this procedure had not yet been provided to the worker at the time of the incident.


American Iron & Metal Company Inc. violated Section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act by failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker on the safe procedure for unloading the 40-foot dump trailer.

Following a guilty plea in the Provincial Offences Court in Hamilton, Ontario, the company was fined $65,000. 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.


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