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October 18, 2010

Essar Steel Algoma fined in steel mill worker’s death

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont.

Essar Steel Algoma Inc. has been fined $300,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) that caused a worker’s death. The company was also fined another $25,000 for a different OHSA violation after a worker was injured in a separate incident.

At the Essar Steel Algoma mill in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. on Oct. 30, 2008, three workers were doing a pre-start check on a conveyor system used to pile rocks. The maintenance team believed the system was empty, but, toward the end of the check, material appeared on the conveyor above one of the workers. The material, weighing over 125 kilograms, fell onto the worker, killing him.

Essar Steel Algoma Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure appropriate overhead guarding was in place to prevent falling material from injuring a worker.

In a separate incident, on July 31, 2008, a worker was doing routine maintenance on a truck. As the worker was checking the battery, it exploded, splattering liquid in the worker’s face. The worker attempted to use the emergency eyewash fountain, but it was not working. Essar Steel Algoma Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to maintain an eyewash fountain and deluge shower in good condition.

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