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Sault Ste. Marie company fined $60K after worker fell 28 feet inside a furnace

Two companies in Sault Ste. Marie combined spent more than $30,000 in a legal battle to have a sign removed – with the fight continuing long after the sign was actually taken down. (File) Two companies in Sault Ste. Marie combined spent more than $30,000 in a legal battle to have a sign removed – with the fight continuing long after the sign was actually taken down. (File)
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Sault Ste. Marie-based R. F. Contracting Inc. has been fined $60,000 for an April 21, 2020, incident in which a worker was seriously injured.

According to a news release from the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, the worker was hurt while cleaning an industrial furnace.

The worker was one of four people working on cleaning the biomass furnace at the time.

“One of the workers, who was wearing an unanchored fall protection harness and tether, stepped inside the furnace,” the release said.

“Since their fall protection was not anchored, the worker fell approximately 28 feet inside the furnace, sustaining serious injuries.

R. F. Contracting Inc. was found guilty of violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The company was convicted Jan. 24 of this year in the Ontario Court of Justice, Sault Ste. Marie.

The company was fined $60,000 by Justice of the Peace Kyle Cachagee. The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act.

The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime. 

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