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National Steel Car fined $140K in connection with death of painter in 2021 – Hamilton |


National Steel Car has been fined $140,000 in relation to the death of painter Collin Grayley, killed just over two years ago at the east Hamilton facility.

The Ministry of Labour released details of last week’s guilty plea from the Hamilton railcar maker Wednesday, saying the 35-year-old died in April of 2021 as a result of an accident with a personnel lift.

In a statement of facts, Grayley was found “slouched” over the top railing of the lift while the machine was positioned above the wheels of a railcar and moving upward.

He was one of two workers tasked with painting a railcar inside a large industrial-sized paint booth.

An investigation determined the lift did not have a functional safety release mechanism.

“National Steel Car Limited failed to maintain in good condition the safety release button inside the personnel lift, contrary to section 25(1) (b) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act,” the ministry explained in the plea.

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Steel Car is expected to pay an additional 25 per cent victim surcharge.

The company is on record as saying it has since implemented measures to prevent similar occurrences, including a safety checklist requiring employees to record whether personnel lifts are operational.

A third-party cleaning company to clean and remove paint regularly from the personnel lifts has also been hired.

The east Hamilton business has been under scrutiny in recent years from the United Steelworkers Local 7135, which has demonstrated at the outlet over worker safety concerns.

During a June 2022 rally, union president Frank Crowder called for a criminal investigation into the death of 51-year-old welder Quoc Le, who died the year before.

Le died when a bulkhead, weighing about 2,000 pounds, fell on him, according to Hamilton police.

The company paid out a similar $140,000 fine for a September 2020 incident that saw 51-year-old crane operator Fraser Cowan hit by an object that fell from a 20-tonne crane.

In a statement, the company characterized Cowan’s death as “unforeseeable.”

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