Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
A worker suffered critical injuries, on June 7, 2016, at IKO Industries Ltd., a manufacturer of roofing products, after material used to make asphalt roofing products poured out of the hopper of a machine that was believed to be empty.
A plant superintendent was troubleshooting a problem with a roofing mill line at IKO’s Brampton facility. The roofing mill line includes a series of pipes and hoppers that heats powdered limestone to approximately 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which is then used to make asphalt roofing products.
After determining that there was a problem with a filler dump valve, the equipment was shut down electronically using the computer system. It was then determined that the dump valve needed to be replaced. Two workers were instructed by their supervisor to remove and replace the dump valve.
As one worker was removing the flange joint that connected the exit hopper to the valve, the valve dropped open and hot limestone poured out of the hopper onto that worker, who sustained critical injuries.
At the time of the incident, it was incorrectly believed that the hopper was empty, based on interpretation of the readings from the computer system. However, this was not correct, and no other steps were taken to determine if the hopper was drained or free of harmful material prior to the removal of the flange joint.
The law(s) in contravention
IKO Industries Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario ‘Industrial Establishments regulation 851/90, section 78, subsection 1(b) which states,
Subject to subsection (2), where repairs or alterations are to be made on a drum, tank, pipeline or other container, the drum, tank, pipeline or other container shall,
(b) be drained and cleaned or otherwise rendered free from any explosive, flammable or harmful substance;
Since this was a contravention of the industrial regulation, this also contravened section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”
I cannot believe that this type of accident can happen in today’s workplace!
Why was there not a primary and secondary procedure to ensure an empty hopper? The need was there and the alternative actually happened and the worker received critical injuries.
For those not aware of the list of ‘Critical Injuries’, I have listed them below.
Ontario “Critical Injuries” regulation 834 states,
“critically injured” means an injury of a serious nature that,
(a) places life in jeopardy,
(b) produces unconsciousness,
(c) results in substantial loss of blood,
(d) involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe,
(e) involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe,
(f) consists of burns to a major portion of the body, or
(g) causes the loss of sight in an eye.
It sounds to me that IKO needs a safety professional.
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 email@example.com
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.