Stelco heading to court over 5 charges tied to Hamilton workplace death


Published May 18, 2023 at 4:04 pm

Stelco Inc. will be going to court in June to face five charges related to the workplace death of a longtime steelworker in Hamilton last year.

Kirk Moore, a father of two who worked at Stelco for about 43 years, was killed during his shift at the coal-handling area of the plant at 386 Wilcox Street in Hamilton on Jan. 15, 2022. About a year later, on Jan. 4, 2023, charges were laid against Stelco, under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The Ontario Court of Justice in Hamilton will hear the case on June 20, according to Anuradha Dhar, spokesperson for the province’s Ministry of Labour.

Ron Wells, president of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1005, said there was “a conveyor system and there was inadequate guarding so that led to the fatality.” In a phone interview with on May 16, he said the matter is sensitive so he is unable to provide more details about how Moore died.

He believes Moore’s death was the first fatality at Stelco’s Hamilton site since January 2004.

“I guess (the charges) are a good thing,” said the United Steelworkers union leader. “There has to be some accountability from the employer to protect workers … It’s a slow process, and it’s hard on Kirk Moore’s family and on our members. Everyone would like to see closure of this.”

Wells said Stelco did comply with the Ministry of Labour’s orders about fixing the “insufficient guarding” shortly after the tragedy in 2022. “Unfortunately it was too late for Kirk but that was fixed,” he said.

Stelco didn’t respond to requests for comment by deadline.

‘Always on the lookout for unsafe working conditions’

“I didn’t know him that well as we never worked in the same area together, but he had lots of friends and was a very competent worker,” said Wells of Moore.

Wells said workers have the right to refuse unsafe work, but sometimes they don’t realize the situation is unsafe. “Like Kirk didn’t realize until obviously too late,” he said.

When asked if he’s satisfied about the working conditions today at Stelco, he said:
“Everyone’s always on the lookout for unsafe working conditions. I mean, you’re never satisfied. You always want to make things better for your workers and members.”

Wells said workers have questions about health and safety every day, and they usually get addressed. “People have suffered from injuries .. but thankfully no fatalities (since Moore’s death),” he said, referring to conditions at the Hamilton plant.

According to government spokesperson Dhar, the Ontario Ministry of Labour laid out the charges, such as Stelco failing “to appoint a competent supervisor,” failing “to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker,” and failing “to ensure the Joint Health and Safety Committee member inspected the physical condition of the coal handling area of the workplace.”

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