N.S. labour officials probe safety record at company where worker died

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's labour minister says her department is examining the safety record of Maritime Steel and Foundries in New Glasgow after a worker died on the job last week.
"We'll be looking at the reports over the last several years to see if there's any common theme," Marilyn More told reporters after a cabinet meeting Thursday.
"It appears after each investigation that the employer has changed its practices to prevent that from happening in the future.
"But if there is any common theme or trend, certainly it's something we take very seriously."
Lloyd Keith Fancy, 59, of Trenton, N.S., was killed on a hydraulic loading dock Nov. 24.
He is the second man to be killed at the foundry in the past nine years.
More wouldn't comment on whether Maritime Steel will face any penalties.
"Certainly there have been fines in the past to employers when they've been found at fault in violation of the safety code practices, so we'll have to wait and see the outcome of the investigation," she said.
"Anything we learn from the investigation will be shared with the employer, with the sector, and worked into our considerations for improving the standards for safety."
The department issued three orders to Maritime Steel after last week's death. It wanted the company to stop using the loading dock, provide maintenance records for it and install lights in the area around the dock.
The initial probe indicated Fancy was struck by a container being unloaded from a truck at the loading dock. He died at the scene.
Four men have died as a result of industrial accidents at the foundry since 1992.
Maritime Steel was convicted on two charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in May 1993 after a fatal workplace injury in September 1992.
Four charges were laid related to the accident itself, while about six more were laid against the company at the same time for other reasons.
The company was fined $3,000.
In 2000, the company was fined $3,600 after a fatal injury in which a worker was struck in the head by a steel girder.
The plant employs 75 people.
There have been about 29 people who've died on the job at different workplaces in the province this year, which is similar to last year's number, More said.
"That's much too high," she said. "We take every incident very seriously. Every single incident from our perspective is preventable, and so that's certainly our objective."

Organizations: Maritime Steel

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, New Glasgow, Trenton

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