Court Bulletin - Hamilton freight car maker fined $250,000 for death of one worker and injury of another

    HAMILTON, ON, Oct. 21 /CNW/ - National Steel Car Ltd. pleaded guilty and
was fined a total of $250,000 in the Ontario Court of Justice on 
October 17, 2008, after the death of one worker and the injury of another.
    Justice J.D. Takach heard that on September 19, 2004, at National Steel
Car Ltd., 602 Kenilworth Ave. N., Hamilton, a worker was welding the sides of
a gondola car together and using a hydraulic pump and spacer bar to align the
pieces properly. The worker was between the car's back wall and the spacer bar
when the bar failed and struck the worker on the head. The massive blunt force
trauma was fatal. A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the hydraulic
pump had exerted too much pressure for the spacer bar. If a hand pump had been
used instead, workers could have monitored the pressure, and the spacer bar
might not have failed. National Steel Car Ltd. Was fined $200,000 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.
    In a separate incident on March 9, 2006, another worker at National Steel
Car Ltd. was applying decals to car sides, while running boards - large pieces
of latticed steel - were moving overhead on a jig. One running board fell from
the jig and struck the worker below, severely injuring the worker's hands, leg
and foot. A Ministry of Labour investigation found that while overhead
protection was present, there was still sufficient room for the running board
to fall through and strike the worker below. National Steel Car Ltd. was fined
$50,000 for failing, as an employer, to ensure the measures and procedures
prescribed in section 45(a) of Ontario Regulation 851/90 were carried out,
contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
    In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine
surcharge on the total, 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

    Location:           Ontario Court of Justice
                        Hamilton Court
                        45 Main Street East
                        Hamilton, Ontario

    Judge:              Justice J.D. Takach

    Date:               October 17, 2008

    Defendants:         National Steel Car Ltd.

    Matter:             Occupational Health and Safety

    Crown Counsel:      David McCaskill

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Bruce Skeaff, Ministry of
Labour, (416) 326-7405

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Ontario Ministry of Labour

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