Canadian Manufacturing

Essar Steel Algoma fined $100K for 2014 blast furnace explosion that injured three

Steel producer currently undergoing court-supervised restructuring pleaded guilty to charges following Ministry of Labour investigation



SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont.—The Ontario Ministry of Labour has fined Essar Steel Algoma Inc. $100,000 for a 2014 blast furnace steam explosion at its plant in Northern Ontario.

The blast occurred when a crew of workers was installing a temporary water piping system. One worker received leg injuries, another sustained burns to the upper body, while the third faced hand injuries as a result of a hose rupture.

A Ministry of Labour investigation determined the company had not shut the system’s cooling water system off for a long enough period of time prior to attempting the installation. In addition, the plant did not have a written procedure in place to identify who was responsible for turning off the water supply and the piping system was found to be installed incorrectly.

Essar Steel, which is currently undergoing a court-supervised restructuring, pleaded guilty to failing to take “every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”

Justice Philip Stanghetta passed down the $100,000 fine in Sault Ste. Marie court June 8.

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