U.S. Steel Canada fined $75K after worker crushed on job in 2013

U.S. Steel Canada was fined $75,000 on Tuesday after a worker was crushed on the job at U.S. Steel Canada in the summer of 2013.

U.S. Steel Canada pleads guilty in case of man injured in 2013 coke ovens incident

U.S. Steel Canada pleaded guilty to two provincial violations and was fined $75,000 after a worker was crushed on the job in 2013. (John Rieti/CBC)

U.S. Steel Canada was fined $75,000 on Tuesday after a worker was crushed on the job at U.S. Steel Canada in the summer of 2013. 

The company pleaded guilty to violating a provincial regulation governing mines and mining plants as well as a health and safety regulation. 

The incident happened in the coke ovens at Hamilton Works on Wilcox Street on July 5, 2013, when a worker was involved in a procedure that required the retraction of a hydraulic arm.

There was a "flaw in the procedure," and the arm slammed back into him, trapping him between the arm and the machine, says Gary Howe, then-vice president of the local 1005 steelworkers union, in a 2014 interview.

The Ministry of Labour said in a court bulletin that the worker lost consciousness and suffered fractures and burns. 

'The injured worker was caught and pinned'

The court bulletin includes a detailed description of the procedure the worker was involved in based on its investigation. 

Usually, the piece of equipment that delivers coal to the coke oven automatically connects, using a hydraulic arm or ram. Then that arm or ram connects with a paddle that controls a valve. 

The operator of the car delivering coal noticed that the ram hadn't connected with the paddle. That operator asked another worker to go over and manually pin the paddle down. 

"That worker went to the side of the car to pin the valve; at the same time, the operator pulled the ram back," the ministry said.

"The injured worker was caught and pinned by the hydraulic ram when it was drawn back. The injured worker lost consciousness for several minutes and sustained fractures, bruises and burns."

The worker manually pinning the valve was in the path of the hydraulic ram, and the provincial investigators found that violated laws regulating how much clearance there must be for a worker from the path of a moving part of the machine.

The company pleaded guilty, and Hamilton court justice Jerry Woloschuk imposed a fine of $75,000 on Tuesday, the ministry said.

The court also required the company pay an additional $18,750 into a fund that goes to assist victims of crime. 

With files from Adam Carter


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.