Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
A foundry employer pleaded guilty and has been fined $50,000 after a worker suffered a permanent injury while working with molten metal.
The incident took place at Grenville Castings, a foundry premises located at 1 Conlon Drive in Perth. The business is a manufacturer of aluminum caster automotive parts. Grenville Castings is operated by Magna Structural Systems Inc. with offices in Aurora.
On May 9, 2015, a worker sustained injuries to a hand while working at the Perth foundry. Work was being performed on a low-pressure casting machine that makes castings by introducing molten metal (aluminium) into a mold.
While operating the machine the worker noticed that the machine was not pressurizing as expected, stopped the machine in order to inspect it and discovered that molten metal had flowed out of the mold and onto the surface area of the machine. There was excess metal on a gear track that would impede movement and prevent the machine from operating properly. The worker, along with a colleague, began to clean the excess metal and the machine was stopped, but components called “core pulls” were not blocked as required by safety laws. The worker’s colleague activated the core pulls while the machine was in its manual setting.
As the core pulls began to move, the worker attempted to pick out a piece of metal from the vicinity of the core pulls. The worker’s hand got caught in the pinch point formed by the gear track and gear drive assembly, causing injuries.
Magna Structural Systems Inc. was fined $50,000 in Perth court by Justice of the Peace Serge Legault on September 20, 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.
Magna Structural Systems Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments’, section 75 which states,
“A part of a machine, transmission machinery, device or thing shall be cleaned, oiled, adjusted, repaired or have maintenance work performed on it only when,
(a) motion that may endanger a worker has stopped; and
(b) any part that has been stopped and that may subsequently move and endanger a worker has been blocked to prevent its movement.”
This was in contravention 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.”
Well, where was the Lockout and Tagout policies here? Where was the supervisor in all this? Was the machine not properly safety engineered?
These are great questions that needed to be asked and answered before the operator was to begin work. Was a JHA (Job Hazard Analysis or Assessment) completed?
I doubt it. Too bad for the employee.
I was surprised to see Magna commit a safety infraction. Their reputation has always been solid both in quality and safety.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259 We can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.