Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker, employed by Great Lakes Copper Ltd. of London, Ontario, a company that operates a copper tube mill, suffered critical injuries when a machine was unintentionally activated.

On October 17, 2018, a worker at Great Lakes Copper was operating a #4 block machine, which resizes coils of copper tubing. After being re-sized, the tubes are moved to an adjacent horizontal surface by a carriage, arm and finger mechanism.

The worker walked from the operator’s area to the horizontal surface adjacent to the machine, in an effort to speak to a supervisor who was on the floor.  The worker used a raised walkway beside the machine. The button that prevents the equipment from continuing to work and places it in a manual mode was not pressed.

The worker walked past the carriage, arm and finger mechanism of the machine, and leaned against the machine’s limit switch. This caused the machine carriage to move and it struck the worker.

The worker was pinched in the gap between the carriage and the horizontal surface being walked on, and received critical injuries.

Great Lakes Copper failed to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by section 24 of the Industrial regulation 851/90 were complied with at the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the act.

Following a guilty plea, Great Lakes Copper Ltd. was fined $65,000 by Justice of the Peace Jamie Shortt; Crown Counsel Judy L. Chan.

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:

Great Lakes Copper Ltd. was found guilty of a contravention 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.”

This is contrary to section 25, subsection 1(c) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

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

Machine Guarding accidents are now the #1 problem in the ‘Industrial’ sector today. There are so many that the Ontario government, prior to the pandemic, made ‘Industrial’ blitzes on Machine Guarding a high priority.

I hope your company is in compliance as well.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Machine Guarding’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.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.