High Strength Plates & Profiles Inc., a company that processes high-strength plate and sheet steel, has been fined $110,000 in the death of a worker at its operation centre in Lively, located just outside of Sudbury.
On May 21, 2013, a worker who had been employed at the centre for a short period of time was engaged in material handling. Using a 15-ton overhead crane, the worker was moving a large steel plate weighing more than 7,800 pounds from a plate pile. The worker was using a two-point lift with pups (hooks that are part of the lifting device) to move the plate; the company instructs operators to use four pups for heavy plate lifts. In cases where two-point lifts are done with pups, the operator relies on the centre of gravity for lifting.
The worker was using a hand-held remote device to operate the crane. During the move, the plate became unstable and shifted.
While the plate was shifting but before it tipped, the worker moved around the plate into a pinch point between the suspended plate and a plate pile. The plate continued to slide and struck the worker, pinning the worker under the plate and causing fatal injuries.
High Strength Plates & Profiles Inc. pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to ensure that materials required to be lifted, carried or moved were moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards as to not endanger the safety of a worker, and was fined $110,000.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Pierre O. Leclerc. 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.