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National Steel Car fined $140K in connection with 2020 workplace death – Hamilton

National Steel Car has been fined $140,000 in relation to the death of a crane operator who was killed just over two years ago at an east Hamilton facility.

A spokesperson with the provincial offences office told Global News the matter involved a Sept. 2, 2020, incident in which an object from a 20-tonne crane fell on an operator.

In a joint submission with the Crown, the railcar manufacturer pleaded guilty to a provincial health and safety charge, admitting crane controls were not located at a safe distance from the load being lifted.

Two other related offences, tied to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, were withdrawn in a court hearing Thursday.

The United Steelworkers Local 7135 revealed the operator was 51-year-old Fraser Cowan during a demonstration June 9, just days after another workplace death connected with the rail manufacturer.

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The protest, which closed the outlet for two days, saw union president Frank Crowder call for a criminal investigation in the unrelated death of 51-year-old welder Quoc Le.

An investigation into Le’s incident with National Streel Car, which involved the wall of a train car falling on the worker, is still ongoing according to the Ministry of Labour.

A probe into the workplace death of painter Collin Grayley, who was found unconscious and transported to hospital with vital signs absent in an April 2021 incident, is also ongoing.

Five charges related to another August 2019 injury case, in which National Steel Car was a co-accused, were also withdrawn during Thursday’s session.

Global News has reached out to National Steel Car for a statement on all matters but has yet to receive any correspondence from the company.

However, the manufacturer is on record stating in court that it is “committed to the health and safety of its workers” and that Cowan’s death was “unforeseeable.”

&copy 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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