Blog Post #35 – Martinrea Fined $75,000 after Worker Injured

Blog Post #35 – Martinrea Fined $75,000 after Worker Injured

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Vaughn-based Martinrea Fabco Metallic Canada Inc. was fined $75,000 way back on March 23, 2010 for a violation under the OHSA after a worker was injured.

On June 24, 2008, a Martinrea worker was assigned to repair a die used for stamping car parts. The worker lowered the die, which weighed over 17,000 kilograms, on two sets of 10X10 centimetre composite plastic blocks with an overhead crane. The blocks were stacked one on top of the other in a designated repair area of the plant. As the worker started to fix the die, it shifted on the blocks and pinned the worker between the die and the guardrail. The worker suffered leg and pelvic injuries.

A MOL investigation found that the blocks were not a uniform length and did not span the full width of the worker.

Martinrea pleaded guilty under the ACT for failing as an employer to ensure that the die was placed on the blocks in a way that did not endanger the safety of the worker.

The court also imposed a 25% 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 Act is clear on this matter. Section 25 clearly defines examples of responsibilities of employers.

1) They shall ensure, (1d) the equipment, materials, and protective devices provided are used as prescribed
2) An employer shall, (2a) provide information, instruction, and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker
3) An employer shall, (2h) take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker

The equipment or materials were obviously not up to the standards needed to do the job. The second case fault shows that the operator either did not receive the proper training or received none what so ever. The CSA standard, B167-08, ‘Overhead Travelling Cranes’ discusses the design, inspection, testing, maintenance, and safe operation of jib cranes, gantry cranes, half gantry cranes, overhead cranes, bridge cranes, almost every type except tower cranes and mobile cranes. Those two types are covered by separate CSA standards and training. (Tower cranes are covered by CSA Z248-04 which was renewed 2009) (mobile cranes are covered by Z150-98 which was renewed 2008, Safety codes on mobile cranes)

The MOL might have asked these few questions, “If crane training was provided, did it meet the standard and “ how long ago was it given” and “was there a refresher?” “Was there a proper practical evaluation completed on site, which covers the visual inspection of the crane, the operation of the crane as well as a planned lift.

There is language in the standard that allows the employer OR the governing body (MOL) to determine the time between training sessions. One only has to contact the MOL current hotline at 1-877-202-0008. I did a few years ago and the MOL expects the training to have a refresher every 3 years.

In the past, I have contacted this number for numerous issues. As a health and safety trainer, I come across many questions provided by students that need answers. Some are scenario-driven but most are obscure enough that I need to look to the experts at the Ministry of Labour for help. They have never let me down yet. They have been courteous and patient in our dealings and I would recommend them to anyone.

You may also be fortunate to have a local list of current MOL inspectors. These people would rather you ‘pick their brains’ now and again and fix your current problems on your own than to have them come in on official business and clean up the mess.

In closing, my position here shows one of three faults:

1) The training was inadequate
2) The supervisor may or may not have been trained covered by section 25 and/or section 27 (1a) or (2c)
3) Inadequate supervision

When it comes to lifting objects overhead, crane training is a must. In fact, the Ontario government totally agrees and makes crane training part of the Millwright apprenticeship. I am a firm believer in training and proper training in this matter would have stopped this incident from happening.

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRSGroup Inc.

Dan
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