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Company fined $70,000 after local workers injured

Thursday, May 02, 2013   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASE

ONTARIO MINISTRY
OF LABOUR

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Algoma Tubes Inc. fined $70,000 after workers injured

SAULT STE. MARIE - Algoma Tubes Inc., a manufacturer of steel pipe products based in Whitehorse, Yukon, has been fined $70,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after two workers were injured.

On July 15, 2011, two workers employed as electrical maintenance technicians by Algoma Tubes at the facility located at 547 Wallace Terrace in Sault Ste. Marie were decommissioning an out-of-service motor control centre (a large electrical panel).

A de-energized control cable that one of the workers was removing came into contact with a 480-volt energized panel.

The resulting arc flash caused one of the workers to sustain burns to one hand and the other worker to suffer burns to the hand, forearm and face.

The Ministry of Labour investigated the incident and found that Algoma Tubes failed as an employer to ensure that the workers used rubber gloves, mats, shields or other protective equipment and procedures adequate to ensure protection from electrical shock and burns while performing the work.

This was contrary to section 42.1(2) of Ontario Regulation 851, R.R.O. 1990, as amended, and to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.O.1, as amended.

The company pleaded guilty and was fined $70,000.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Jill Morris.

In addition to the fine, the court 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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Comments
22
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Dead End Kid 5/2/2013 11:51:07 AM Report

Just out of curiosity because I'm not that smart, who ends up with the 70,000 dollars and where does it go?
ThinkAgain 5/2/2013 11:57:43 AM Report

"two workers employed as electrical maintenance technicians by Algoma Tubes" these guys should go back to school and learn the trade proper, seems they don't have any diploma.
SandyB 5/2/2013 12:06:39 PM Report

Dead End.. into gvt coffers..

They will also be assessed a 25% surcharge.. which does not go to the injured parties.. It goes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
for use in the town that is closest to the injury site that has a courthouse (this being, of course, SSM)

Sandy
harryharry 5/2/2013 12:08:33 PM Report

were these guys on drugs
Zap 5/2/2013 12:16:44 PM Report

How typical to ask were these guys on drugs .. alcohol? Why do people always assume that drugs are involved some people are just idiots .
Mel687 5/2/2013 12:17:01 PM Report

It goes to WSIB to help compensate for them paying for lost wages. Its not a law suit so it would not go to the worker.
Slim Shady 5/2/2013 12:22:20 PM Report

Electrical workers should always wear arch flash equipment however....

What idiot does not sufficiently isolate the live panel from the de-energized one?

Both workers should also be fined for not following a JSP (Job Safe Procedure)and or SOP (Safe Operating Procedure)

Sometimes workers need to be held accountable to their mistakes or lack of judgement.

As licenced industrial electricians, they would know that arch flash equipment is required under OSHA and should have refused to do the job if they weren't provided the required equipment. I am willing to be that there was an equipment locker full of protective equipment but they choose not to wear it.
od1exx 5/2/2013 12:24:06 PM Report

You guys don't understand that at Essar there is a lot of social pressure to not wear the proper equipment.

Sad really.
Slim Shady 5/2/2013 12:39:30 PM Report

@od1exx

Social pressure?! Considering arc flash can emit heat greater the the surface of the sun (in a microsecond) I wonder what a guy's wife will think when his face looks like an overbaked lasange?!

Just as "uncool" as wearing eye or hearing protection I suppose...

Most of the time these near "accidents" go unreported... these EMT's get lucky.
sitka_archie 5/2/2013 12:57:14 PM Report

Slim Shady you're one smart cookie. Have you ever stepped foot in the Hot Mill? Heat Treat? Ever lockout the MPM? The SRM?


Go in there and ask for a JSA and see what you yet.

Mouth breather...
Gater 5/2/2013 12:58:13 PM Report

Social Pressure.What the Hell. That work will kill you!!!
I agree with the fine for the company.
But also agree Employees must be held accountable for not wearing appropriate Safety Gear ( PPE) and following approved Safe work procedures.
If all else fails...The right to refuse Unsafe work law has been around for a long time..
OMGWTF 5/2/2013 1:00:21 PM Report

Social pressure? Shoddy supervisory or manager oversight. Grow some b's ....and grow up. Better to be alive and "kidded" than dead and liked.
Deano_ 5/2/2013 1:10:20 PM Report

@slim shady.. I totally agree. Social pressure? Really? What is this, high school?
And Archie, do you think using a bunch of abbreviations make you look like you're some kind of expert? Get real!
sitka_archie 5/2/2013 1:14:15 PM Report

You've obviously never stepped food in the latter. So please, my comments are for Slim Shady who thinks he can decipher peoples problems from his computer. I was pointing out he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about re: Algoma Tubes. And obviously, neither do you.


The management and H&S in that mill are terrible people. And its only a matter of time before more people are seriously injured there. I know this first hand....unlike you.....
Gater 5/2/2013 1:19:51 PM Report

Archie. If its that bad and you are that concerned . File a report with the MOL. Its better to be part of the solution . Than sit back and whine about it. Talks Cheap..
mallet 5/2/2013 2:01:48 PM Report



For those who don't know the acromyns

MPM is the Mandrel Mill and the SRM is the stretch reducing mill. as opposed to the old piecers, plug mill and reelers and sizing mill.
milldog74 5/2/2013 2:39:31 PM Report

Hey sitka...ever lock out the MPI station while doing NDT after the Forster does it's EMI?....hell yeah!
biggerjoe 5/2/2013 4:48:47 PM Report

The above people are all complete idiots, they are talking about things that they do not have any idea about, know the facts before talking $h!t! If you are stupid just be quiet..... you don't have to open your mouth to prove it people!!!!
sitka_archie 5/2/2013 4:55:22 PM Report

Mill dog. I'm a bit more than familiar with finishing 1 and 2. The nice thing about my line of work though is 1) I'm paid well 2) my stay in said hell holes is only temporary.


As to the nimrod that suggested calling the MOL, you don't think that's done regularly? Are you that foolish to think the MOL doesn't turn a blind eye?

Mallet, its a shame the MPM is such a dog-f&%$ because the Piercer is damn near bulletproof...
Saultguy41 5/3/2013 6:41:32 AM Report

As a Electrician at the Tube Mill, and know the two gentlemen that were injured I have too say that some of the comments here by a few idiots are typical of uneducated morons. The area this occurred was the Auxillary drive room on a open MCC which means that everything is exposed, from control wiring to the 480 volt lines. While I agree that the entire feed too this MCC should have been shut down one could not guess that a control wire#14AWG would come in contact with a 480 volt starter. This also occured before the company had full Arc flash equipment.
The use of low voltage gloves would not have stopped anything because the forementioned wire just drooped over.
So until people actually know what happened keep your comments too your self and be thankful noone was killed.
mr.jack 5/3/2013 10:06:25 PM Report

saultguy 42 good for you i know both of the guys, there both good guys and there good at there jobs,,,as for the looosers that put a response to this SHUT THE HELL UP
Honestysucks 5/4/2013 1:48:13 AM Report

Really? Like most companies why didn’t they blame the workers for not being saved? The 2 works failed to complete a field level hazard assessment/workplace hazard (I know some parts of Alberta you need to do both before you work) assessment what would have caused them to look at where they are working realized the proper safety equipment they needed to completed the job safety, They obviously didn’t have proper site safety training or other safety training! I also think they should be sent for a drug and alcohol test because of the incident
Comments
22
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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