Cement Company & Supervisor Fined $78,000 for Worker’s Head Injuries

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Workers were clearing mud and rock from the vanes of a large rotary sluice at a cement plant. Although the electricity had been turned off, a brake on the sluice didn’t hold the vanes in place for cleaning. So the workers inserted a steel bar to prevent them from rotating. When the bar came into contact with one of the vanes, the force of the rotation caused the bar’s handle to suddenly fly upward, striking one of the workers in the face. He suffered a concussion and facial fractures. The cement company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that gravity-stored energy was dissipated or contained while work was being done on the sluice and was fined $75,000. A supervisor pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that workers worked in the manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by the OHS laws and was fined $3,000 [St. Marys Cement Inc. and Edward Maybee, Govt. News Release, May 8, 2013].