Employers fined after employee catches fire

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Two Ontario companies must pay $90,000 each after a worker was seriously injured in a

RHI Canada Inc., a Burlington refractory castable manufacturer, and Carmeuse Lime (Canada) Inc., an Ingersoll lime manufacturer, were fined by the Ministry of Labour over an incident from January last year, when an employee caught fire in a temporary winter shelter.

The worker, who was employed by RHI Canada Inc., was working at a Carmeuse Lime project at the time of the incident. He entered the shelter, which was built to control dust and protect workers from winter temperatures, and was warmed by a propane heater.

Due to the layout of the shelter and the position of the heater, the worker had to stand too close to the heater. His clothing caught fire, causing second and third-degree burns.

RHI Canada Inc. and Carmeuse Lime (Canada) Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that a fuel-fired heating device was located, protected and used in such a way that there was no risk of igniting a tarpaulin or similar temporary enclosure or combustible material adjacent to it.

In addition to the fines, the court imposed a 25% victim fine surcharge to assist victims of crime.

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