Steel Company Fined $100,000 After Worker Injured
April 19, 2016 5:15 P.M.
Ministry of Labour
MISSISSAUGA, ON - Schmolz + Bickenbach Canada Inc., an international manufacturer,
producer and distributor of steel products, pleaded guilty and has been fined $100,000 after a
worker suffered injuries that resulted in amputation.
On September 11, 2014, a worker employed as a truck driver by a different, but related, steel
company was assigned to pick up a steel slab from the defendant's plant on at 6350 Vipond
Drive and drive it back to the direct employer's location in Brampton. A shipper receiver was on
the site readying the 23,800-pound steel slab for transport. That worker used a 44-ton Demag
crane with an attached electromagnet to pick up the steel slab and direct it through the plant to
the back of the truck. The truck driver was standing on the back of the truck to help maneuver
the steel slab into position and intended to use wood blocks and chains on the flatbed to secure
When the slab was in position over the truck's flatbed, it unexpectedly dropped from the
electromagnet before it was released by the shipper. The slab fell a distance of two to three feet
onto the flatbed, causing the truck driver to fall off the back of the truck onto the concrete floor.
The driver was rushed to hospital suffering from fractures. The critical injury, along with
complications that included infection, resulted in an amputation.
It was later determined that the electromagnet had lost power because it had become
unplugged and disconnected from its power outlet. It was further determined that the night
before, on September 10, 2014, the same electromagnetic crane had accidentally become
disconnected from its power source, causing a suspended steel lab to detach and fall in the
same fashion. The company's policies required pre-incident checks of cranes and
electromagnets before each use and a lockout procedure if any safety concern respecting a
crane or electromagnet existed. Although a prompt request was made for maintenance to
examine the machinery the next morning, the electromagnet lifting device was not immediately
taken out of service.
The defendant failed to take the reasonable precaution of immediately taking an
electromagnetic lifting device out of service after it accidentally disconnected from its power
source causing a suspended steel slab to detach and fall on September 10, 2014.
The company pleaded guilty to failing to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances
for the protection of a worker, and was fined $100,000 by Justice of the Peace Jeannie Anand in
Mississauga court on April 19, 2016.
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.
Court Information at a Glance
Provincial Offences Court/Ontario Court of Justice
950 Burnhamthorpe Road
Justice of the Peace Jeannie Anand
Date of Sentencing:
April 19, 2016
Schmolz + Bickenbach Canada Inc.
6350 Vipond Drive
Occupational health and safety
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Janet Deline Communications Branch
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