Blog Post #947 – Auto Parts Maker Fined $80,000 After Worker Injured

Blog Post #947 – Auto Parts Maker Fined $80,000 After Worker Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Poly-Nova Technologies GP Inc., a manufacturer of rubber parts for the automotive industry, pleaded guilty and has been fined $80,000 after a worker was permanently injured by a hydraulic power press.

On May 27, 2014, a temporary worker who had been employed at the company’s Guelph plant for several months was being trained by another worker on a vertical injection press for the first time. The machine is a vertical hydraulic injection-moulded power press with a clamping force of 350 tons.  Rubber material is fed through the top of the press and material is heated and injected into the mould to produce rubber components.

The worker was in the process of cleaning the machine’s upper ejection mould as trained. The worker reached into the press between two plates when the machine was started by someone and began to cycle, closing the moulds. The worker’s hand and arm were trapped and the machine had to be dismantled to free the worker. As a result of the incident, the worker sustained serious injuries and burns.

The Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the moving parts of the machine were not equipped with a guard or other device which would prevent access to those parts. Section 24 of Ontario’s Industrial Establishments Regulation prescribes that where a machine has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part.

The defendant failed as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by the regulation were carried out at the workplace, contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The company pleaded guilty and was fined $80,000 by Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson in Guelph court on December 16, 2016.

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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention,

Poly-Nova Technologies GP Inc. was found guilty of a violation of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 24 which states,

“Where a machine or prime mover or transmission equipment has an exposed moving part that may endanger the safety of any worker, the machine or prime mover or transmission equipment shall be equipped with and guarded by a guard or other device that prevents access to the moving part.”

Poly-Nova Technologies GP Inc. was also found guilty of a violation of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

 

There are five (5) general types of machine safeguards that can be used to protect workers and personnel in the immediate vicinity of machinery. They are: Guards – these are physical barriers that prevent contact. They can be fixed, interlocked, adjustable, or self-adjusting.

Safeguards must meet these minimum general requirements: Prevent contact: The safeguard must prevent hands, arms, and any other part of a worker’s body from making contact with dangerous moving parts.

Here we find Poly-Nova in complete violation of a safety requirement which, really should have been required and engineered into the design of the machine.

I guess Poly-Nova did not receive the memo.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

 

 

Dan
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