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Sudbury contractor Rematech fined $30K after 300-pound cabinet falls on worker

Proper procedure was not followed to protect the worker, court rules
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Rematech Industries has been fined $30,000 in a Sudbury court April 23 after an Dec. 5, 2016 incident involving a 300-pound cabinet falling onto one of its workers. (Supplied/rematechindustries.com)

Rematech Industries was fined $30,000 in a Sudbury court on April 23 after a Dec. 5, 2016 incident involving a 300-pound cabinet falling onto one of its workers.

The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act, according to a press release from the Ministry of Labour.
The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

Rematech workers were sent to Vale's Stobie Mine to change out a conveyor belt, which had been emptied and a lock out/tag out procedure took place.

A winch cable – needed to pull the new conveyor belt onto the conveyor – was attached to a floor grating behind the conveyor.

However, the established procedure for securing the winch was to secure it on an anchor bolt affixed to the concrete wall of the room where the conveyor was located.

The old conveyor was removed and the winch was activated to pull the new conveyor belt into position.

In the process of installing the new belt, the steel floor grating that was anchoring the winch gave way, knocking over the steel cabinet onto a worker.

The worker fell to the ground with the steel cabinet landing on the worker. The cabinet was almost seven feet high and weighed about 300 pounds. The worker was taken to hospital and treated.

The company pleaded guilty and was fined $30,000 for failing as an employer to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker, contrary to section 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The company should have taken the reasonable precaution of ensuring that the proper procedure was followed by the workers and that the winch was properly secured to an adequate anchor to avoid endangering a worker, the press release said.

In addition, the injury, defined as a critical injury by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, was not reported by the company to the Ministry of Labour as required by law within three days.

Established in 1964, Rematech manufactures conveyor belting, rubber and urethane moulded products, and corrosion and abrasion resistant linings. The company serves the mining, pulp and paper, foundry, aggregate and shipping industries.