Blog Post #975 -Vaughan Company Fined $75,000 After Worker Critically Injured

Blog Post #975 -Vaughan Company Fined $75,000 After Worker Critically Injured

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Martinrea International Inc., carrying on business as Hydroform Solutions, pleaded guilty and has been fined $75,000 after a worker suffered serious injuries   when machinery fell while being lifted with an overhead crane.

Martinrea is an automotive parts manufacturer that operates a facility located at 1995 Williams Parkway in Brampton, Ontario. On June 21, 2015, a worker employed by Martinrea at the facility was operating a remote-controlled overhead crane to lift and move a stamping die to another location in the workplace. The die was resting on a large rectangular bolster plate that was enclosed on its long ends by two transfer bars.

As the die was being lifted from the bolster plate, it swung and struck one of the transfer bars, causing the bar to fall from the two support posts upon which it had been resting. As the bar fell, it struck the worker, who had been standing nearby. The worker suffered critical injuries.

The Ministry of Labour investigated the incident and concluded that Martinrea committed the offence of failing, as an employer, to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by Ontario’s Industrial Establishments Regulation (Regulation 851) were carried out in a workplace. Specifically, Martinrea failed to ensure that the lifting, carrying and moving of the stamping die was done in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards so as to ensure that the movement of the stamping die did not endanger the safety of any worker. This was also contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

For the safety violation, Justice of the Peace Richard Quon fined the company $75,000 in Brampton court on March 14, 2017.

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,

Martinrea International Inc., was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial’ regulation 851/90, section 45, subsection (a) which states,

Material Handling

Material, articles or things,

(a) required to be lifted, carried or moved, shall be lifted, carried or moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards, including protective clothing, guards or other precautions as will ensure that the lifting, carrying or moving of the material, articles or things does not endanger the safety of any worker.”

Martinrea International Inc. was also found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

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

Overhead crane training would have gone a long way in eliminate accidents such as this one. The crane operator must ensure that the load is safe to move and that the equipment used is inspected for defects which could also cause an accident if it becomes an over-capacity issue.

A completed JHA should also have been completed to ensure that all possible hazards have been recognized, assessed and controlled before any work is to be done. THAT is the law!

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.